Liferaft performance in wind and waves: an experimental evaluation

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ConferenceDesign and Operation of Passenger Ships, 25-26 April 2007, London, Uk
AbstractLiferafts are commonly used worldwide as primary or a secondary means of evacuation from passenger vessels, merchant ships, and offshore petroleum installations. In many cases, liferafts are required by regulations 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 international standards for Life Saving Appliances require the successful completion of tests in calm water in order for manufacturers to obtain type approvals for their liferafts. However, the performance of liferafts in general ocean conditions is largely unknown. This absence of qualitative and quantitative knowledge of expected utility, especially in different weather conditions, weakens rational decision-making processes and a host of associated decisions in search and rescue operations and planning. The authors have been conducting research over the last three years on liferaft operational performance to address some of these unknowns. The research investigated liferaft operational performance in a range of weather conditions, at both model and full scale. This paper presents the results of tow and drift experiments on 16, 42 and 150 person rafts, and addresses a knowledge gap by providing empirical data that can be used by manufacturers, regulators and other professionals in their decisions concerning liferaft safety.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Ocean Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number6449
NPARC number8896054
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Record identifier2a2163fa-ad69-4924-bdd9-920b1f39f6a7
Record created2009-04-22
Record modified2016-05-09
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