life rafts; liferafts; evacuation; life saving crafts; EER; towing; tow loads
Liferafts are commonly used worldwide as a primary or a secondary means of evacuation from merchant ships, passenger vessels, fishing boats, and offshore petroleum installations. In many cases, liferafts are required by regulations or laws whose explicit aims are to provide for the safety of life at sea. Despite being almost universally prescribed and carried by ships and offshore platforms, the actual performance that can be expected of liferafts and the people who have to use them in practice is largely unknown. Current Canadian regulations only require the successful completion of tests in calm water in order for manufacturers to obtain type approvals for their liferafts . The performance of liferafts in ocean conditions is thus unknown. This absence of qualitative and quantitative knowledge, especially in different weather conditions, weakens rational decision-making processes and a host of associated search and rescue operations and planning.
National Research Council of Canada. Institute for Ocean Technology
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Student Report (National Research Council of Canada. Institute for Ocean Technology), no. SR-2005-21 (2005).