In the event that an oil rig or maritime vessel must be evacuated, life rafts provide life-saving help. Along with life jackets, rafts can save workers from drowning and allow them to safely wait for rescue. Properly using these crucial devices maximizes their ability to help survivors and most efficiently keep them safe until help can arrive.
Important Life Raft Safety Topics:
- How to safely board a life raft
- Maintenance techniques, including storage and launching procedures
- Necessary supplies inventory and how to use items, such as first aid kits
- Survival techniques, such as treating injuries and illnesses
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea is responsible for setting guidelines regarding the manufacture, testing, and use of life rafts to ensure that they will be able to provide aid to stranded workers who need them. Rigs must carry a certain number of rafts proportionate to the number of workers on board. The rafts must also follow a set of guidelines, including buoyancy and resistance to tears, holes, and fire. To ensure that a life raft is able to provide maximum benefit to workers, certain procedures must be applied when using one.
Safe Practices Aboard a Life Raft:
- Arrange to have a lookout posted at all times
- Stay aware of your present geographical position, if possible
- Do not waste flares when there is no chance of them being seen
- Keep the raft at a safe distance from the rig (staying in sight of it is preferable)
- Launch the raft while it is attached to the rig or vessel
- Make arrangements to collect rainwater for drinking
- Remember to launch the dinghy attached to the life raft
- Stay as dry as possible with emphasis on keeping feet dry
Life rafts have saved thousands of offshore workers, but they are only useful when they are used correctly. It is important to keep all crewmembers updated on safe practices for using these essential tools. In the event of an offshore explosion or other emergency, knowing how to efficiently use a life raft could mean the difference between life and death.
If you have been injured during an offshore rig evacuation, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Jones Act attorney to understand your legal rights. At Arnold & Itkin, we have helped hundreds of offshore workers recover compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.