Sydney: The International Convention for the Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS), states commercial vessels must carry life rafts.
In the majority of mass marine disasters globally, life rafts have been on board the vessels, but people either didn’t know how to deploy the rafts or the life rafts were not accessible.
Australian company Rescue & Survival Group has designed a life raft inflation system that eliminates any human factors and any accessibility issues. The invention relies on the life raft’s slight submersion to activate, become erect and perform its designed function – to save and preserve life.
Rescue and Survival Group’s patented system will allow ship captains and operators to no longer rely on trained deck staff to launch life rafts, nor will it require crew access. Both these problems were heavily correlated in the aftermath of the Costa Concordia and Sewol disasters.
Rescue and Survival Group’s patent enables life rafts to be launched by untrained personnel or passengers by means of simply pushing the contained life raft into the water. If the life rafts are inaccessible, such as when the vessel lists or the life raft becomes slightly submerged, the lift raft will begin to inflate, breaking free of its mount to erect itself in the water, awaiting survivors to board.
“The problem we see time and time again within the safety and survival industry,” says managing director Jack McDonald, “is a resistance to change and an inability to provide flexible solutions to what is a demanding and highly regulated industry. It is important for owners and operators to source new and market leading products, as we are gradually seeing international and state regulations and requirements phase out older technology, in light of new and innovative products coming to market.” [28/08/14]