International Conference Escape, Evacuation & Rescue Design for the Future, 19 & 20 November 1996, London, UK
In 1995 the Canadian Coast Guard initiated a program intended to investigate the recovery of liferafts in extreme seas. This initiative ultimately resulted in a set of three parallel projects, which investigated liferaft behaviour in critical wave conditions as well as the development of new recovery procedures. This paper provides an overview of the three programs. The first project was an investigation of liferaft stability in steep waves, which addressed a primary concern of the SAR operators. Model scale tests were conducted at the Institute for Marine Dynamics (IMD), which provided funding for two of the three projects. These trials were directed at investigating various parameters that may affect liferaft stability in steep waves. The second project was a series of model and full scale tests which collected performance data on liferaft response characteristics, drag coefficients, and drift rates. The final project involved the development of a cost effective liferaft recovery system for SAR vessels that is functional in extreme seas. This program will culminate with a set of full-scale demonstration trials in the fall of 1996.