Safety Gear: Our Viking Liferaft Servicing
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Last Updated on April 1, 2021 by Amy
Starry Horizons is over three years old, and that meant our liferaft, a VIKING RescYou™ liferaft, 6 person model, was due for a liferaft servicing.
Getting your liferaft serviced is fascinating. We got to watch Graham from MarineSafe pop open our liferaft. He inflated it using the shop’s pump, and then he gave us a tour, showing us all the interesting features of our liferaft.
Please remember, this safety equipment is in addition to the gear we have in our ditch bag.
There are a few items that are attached to the liferaft when it inflates,.
- Sea anchor and line
- Rescue quoit and line
- Floating knife
- Emergency pack
Emergency Pack Contents
All of the pack contents were pulled out and looked over. Graham explained each one to us and how to use it.
- 2 red parachute signal flares (expires every 3 years)
- 3 red handflares(expires every 3 years)
- 60 tablets of seasickness medication (expires every 3 years)
- 3 plugs for leaks
- manual pump
- 1 bailer
- 1 whistle
- 2 L of drinking water (expires every 5 years)
- flashlight (incandescent)
- 4 vacuum sealed spare batteries for the flashlight
- 2 vacuum sealed spare bulbs for the flashlight
- 2 sponges
- 1 signaling mirror
- seasickness bags
- waterproof survival instructions
- Ballast bags to keep the liferaft upright
- Boarding ramp
- Two large canopy openings
- Windows on either end of the canopy, with zip-in shades
- Rain collection system
- Double insulated floor
- Bright yellow canopy
- Reflective tape
- Interior/Exterior light
- Internal and external lifelines
Graham checked our whole system over, including things like weighing the canister and over-inflating the tubes and checking the overflow valves. We did have a faulty item: the interior/exterior light combo was not working. Graham said that the switch felt broken. MarineSafe called Viking, who covered the light under warranty and did a full replacement.
All the expired items were replaced. Our incandescent flashlight was replaced with an LED flashlight. We opted not to replace the drinking water, as it is still good and Graham said it’s a very high quality. We plan to replace it when we do our next liferaft servicing.
Costs for Liferaft Servicing
You can buy this liferaft on Amazon, sold by Life Raft & Survival Equipment, Inc.
It cost us roughly $730 USD to service our liferaft. The length of time between liferaft services can vary between manufacturers. The next service date should be on your liferaft case.
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I always imagine throwing the life raft in the dingy and taking off if the boat was sinking. That way if you had to leave the second boat there would be somewhere to go. The thing is the supplies included are so limited you better remember the ditch bag before the life raft! JK but not by much.
The only problem with that is that the liferaft is designed to be much safer than the dinghy. The dinghy is more likely to flip and is harder to get into. The liferaft has the buoyancy bags at the bottom and the inflatable ladder to counter these issues.
Another great post. This is very interesting – and I don’t even have a use for a life raft! (Except, of course, for being very grateful that you are being diligent in making sure yours is serviceable).
Some people are taking liferafts and camping on the water with them! 🙂