Re: Liferaft deployment training
Sat Jun 13 04:21:18 1998
What the liferaft servicing facilities are telling you is true. The 5 year
inflation test should be done in a controlled environment where evidence of
"cold cracking" can be witnessed first hand. If an inflatable raft suffers
from "cold cracking", which is where the CO2/Nitrogen mix causes the
rubber/hypalon or whatever to break down and not hold air. This damage is
usually found near the baffles.
If your vessel is inspected by the USCG, your raft is required to be serviced
annually. At this time the raft is unpacked and inflated with air. The
valves are checked as well as all survival equipment. Batteries are replaced,
and the raft is repacked as per manufacturers instructions. Ensure that your
servicing facility and the technician are certified by the manufacturer to
service your raft. At the 5 year mark, the raft is removed from its case and
inflated with the CO2 bottle, at this time the techs look for "cold cracking",
"copper sickness" bad hoses and fittings. If the raft passes this portion,
the bottle(s) are sent out for hydrostatic testing and the raft receives a
standard annual service.
I hope this helps a little bit.
USCG Marine Inspector