Friday, September 28, 2007

SOLAS Life boat drill

Pumping Up and Examining Reids Inflatable Rubber Dingy(life raft)

In a break between snows and gale force winds, Soanya helped me pump up and examined our rubber inflatable, which will also serve as our life raft. When our friend, Charlie Doane an editor of Sail magazine, gave it to us, I told him we hoped to keep it inside and will never use it. He thought that would be a wise idea. But prudence and careful planning to the best of our abilities demanded that we familiarize ourselves with Reids equipment in case we had to use it. Having had extensive experience with inflatables, pumping it up and restowing it was straight forward for Soanya. We had a patch kit, two foot pumps, and three sets of oars. The use of an open rubber boat as a life raft is debatable and perhaps ludacrious at best. But it will work as it has on numerous occasions, most notably by a lunatic named Alain Bombard who purposely took an open rubber boat with very few supplies across the Atlantic in the fifties. I doubt that survival technology has improved much since then. We have carefully wrapped the raft in a plastic bag, bound it securely, and carefully stowed it in the cargo hold where it will be easy to retrieve as the boat sinks beneath us. We should be able to reach it, after digging it out from all the mess, and inflate it using the two foot pumps. It should take us less than 15 minutes to get it all sorted even in heavy weather. We will discuss in an upcoming blog our survival bags and strategies for abandoning ship.


tacking said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, I was just over at the "other site" where Reid is talking about the need to fish more and the tackle he has on board. Can't your boat be confiscated for fishing without a license in some necks of some woods?

Skunk said...

I love how the inflatable is jammed under lots of gear to keep it more secure in the event of a sinking!

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