What’s going wrong with lifeboats?

Too many sad, eminently preventable accidents still frighten seafarers, which itself is a scandal that needs to be resolved.

Here is an analysis of what’s wrong with Lifeboats:

Equipment tested until it breaks or is accidentally released all so crews can meet regulatory requirements.

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Thankfully they did away with the requirement to actually launch the free fall lifeboats. I know that the gravity davits have their own dangers, but riding that gravity boat down wasn’t real fun.

Unfortunately, because many companies only pay peanuts we end up crewed with monkeys and they need constant repetition to remember the simplest of tasks.

I thought that the freefall boats were tremendous fun!

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Maybe training with freefall lifeboats are not fun, but if you have to abandon ship it is nice to know how to operate one.

If you have to get away from a sinking or burning ship, maybe with burning oil on the water, there are no better way than a freefall lifeboat.

No shit. But you don’t need to ride the boat all the way to the water to make sure the releasing gear works.

Hence why the SOLAS requirements finally changed.

Yes testing of release gear can be done without launching and required regularly.
Having done a training drop in a controlled setting is mandatory as part of IMO’s Safety & Survival Courses:

The headrests in that lifeboat look too low to alleviate whiplash. They conveniently cut away in that video so they don’t show when the guys heads would have whiplashed.

I have a buddy that did some consulting on live tests of lifeboats and he installed G sensors on the seats and headrests.
Found out the classification/tests of lifeboats and the builders just as corrupt as the rest of the industry.


The first one I did, the ‘head’ strap (as cox’n) fit snugly round my throat whilst facing forward and there was nowhere to rest my right foot.
The longest , shortest ride in the world.


Brand new boat. Probably 2nd or 3rd lifeboat drill. Half-dozen injured.

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Whoa! That’s a whole different level of frightening. If that was during a loading drill even hang-off pendants and harbor pins would have done nothing to make that boat safer.

Ugh, IMO there’s no point in riding the boat unless you’re on a one way trip off.



where was it built?
That was 25 years ago my mate was doing testing for a company that wanted to build them and their research worked out the rules were not up to it so they bought some to test…
They built one and it out performed them all but ran into major cartels with class trying to get them to fail.
I witnessed a few drop tests and with the current approved designs.
They craned one in upside down, they let it float around the harbour, in front of all the class surveyors as it stayed upside down.

Lifeboats, props in maritime safety theater.

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Death boats might be a better fit