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Life Rafts 101: A Buyers Guide for Responsible Offshore Anglers

by Ryan Taffet on 02. May, 2017 in Marine, Life Rafts

Looking beyond the “box” and “bag”

As much as it pains me to do so, I will admit that when shopping for a life raft, to the untrained eye they all essentially look the same. When looking at life rafts you will typically find a quality/performance/features versus price “value matrix”. Simply put, you get what you pay for.

Life Raft Inflation: Air vs. CO2

by S Switlik on 23. Jan, 2015 in Marine, Life Rafts, safety

What things do people consider when picking a life raft? The list typically includes capacity, service interval, equipment, etc. One item that hasn’t been on the list—but should be—is the inflation system. CO2 has historically been the only inflation system option for marine life rafts…until now.  Now consumers have the option to choose between a raft inflated with Air or CO2.

What’s the advantage of using Air instead of CO2? There’s several. First and foremost is that air isn’t affected by temperature.  When you compress CO2 into a cylinder, the pressure changes based on temperature. This can affect the speed of inflation—at low temperatures, the gas compresses (which lowers the pressure), and your life raft will inflate slowly. In some cases the CO2 will even solidify into dry ice which slows inflation even more. Air, on the other hand, is not affected by temperature. Your raft will inflate with greater speed than CO2, regardless of the temperature. 

Brian Kender Finishes Second in Lagunitas Kite Race

by Ross Hallen on 22. Apr, 2013 in Marine

Brian Kender Finishes Second in Lagunitas Kite Race

Switlik Life Rafts used in the 2012 US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar at U.S. Naval Academy

by Switlik on 12. Apr, 2012 in Marine

switlik-sar6-safetytraining-DSC_0440Over the course of this past weekend, two Switlik Offshore Life Rafts were deployed, allowing over 100 participants the opportunity to experience firsthand how to deploy, board and utilize all the safety equipment supplied in a offshore life raft.  The first training session took place on the severn river and was a live deployment off one of the Naval Academy’s sloops.  The raft used in this session was the Switlik SAR-6 Offshore Life Raft, which is the most advanced life raft available on the market.  The key features of this raft is the convertible canopy which allows for simple boarding as victims can jump directly into the raft, limiting their time the water.  The canopy design allows for endless configurations for shelter ensuring proper ventilation in addition to providing easy extraction when rescue teams are on scene.  The second feature which was highlighted in the Safety at Sea Seminar is the large ballast system.  The entire bottom of the raft features one large ballast bag that allows a large amount of water to enter and circulate in an oval fashion, ensuring the raft will be stable while riding waves and can withstand the downdraft of a rescue helicopter when extracting victims.

A Mariner’s Most Dreaded Phrase, “Man Overboard”: Marine Safety training from the experts

by Switlik on 10. Jan, 2012 in Marine

By: Teresa O’Connor, Life Raft Survival Equipment, Inc.   teresa@LRSE.com

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