Safety at Sea: Lifeboats - Deadweight means Dead!

Safety at Sea: Lifeboats - Deadweight means Dead!

06/16/08 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Articles

Every ship carries a lifeboat, the last lifesaving hope of a desperate seamen.
Is it really lifesaving or is it only hope ?

Port state inspectors, vetting inspectors, superintendents always insist upon checking the mandatory equipment, state of the engine, and various log book entries about lowering, launching, and changing the water in the lifeboat.
They also like to see that the lifeboat is correctlly stenciled with call sign and the number of persons the lifeboat is designed for.
And it is always a remark if something is not according their satisfaction.

And all these checks come second to the important issue:

How much weight can a lifeboat carry ? What is the allowed deadweight ?

You have it somewhere hidden in a plan: our example 1350 kilograms excluding the boat and equipment.

In our case the inspector is happy to see that the lifeboat can accommodate 18 persons which fits the vessel’s complement of 17, all European and Tuvalu origin.

What the inspector fails to see is that all crewmembers onboard are between 80 and 120 kilo with an approximate average of 92 kilo a full 215 kilo over the maximum allowed weight, not counting the extra water and equipment the crew is required to bring with them in the lifeboat.

Additionally, to make the things worse the seats are designed for a maximum of 100 kilo which excludes by default some of the crewmembers.

What would happen then if the lifeboat would free fall plunge in the water ?
Nobody can really know! Where is the safety in that !?

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