Inflating your life raft is a critical procedure for ensuring the safety of you and your team during an emergency at sea. Life rafts are designed to provide a floating platform and shelter for when you are in distress, so it is important to know how to properly inflate the life raft. The inflation process can vary depending on the type of life raft, but your FitzWright life raft has three methods of inflation; manual, automatic, and combined manual/automatic. These methods offer flexibility that is beneficial for various scenarios and potential emergencies.
All FitzWright Life rafts are equipped with a manual inflation system, which involves pulling a cord known as a painter line and that triggers the CO2 inflation mechanism. Once pulled, a CO2 cylinder is punctured, releasing the gas into the life rafts inflation chambers. As the chambers fill with gas, the life raft rapidly inflates.
Every FitzWright Life raft also has an automatic inflation system that activates upon contact with water. Typically, they are stowed with a Hydrostatic Release Unit that is sensitive to water pressure. When the raft is submerged at approximately 4 meters in depth, the release unit triggers the inflation process and brings the raft to the surface for you to climb into. Automatic inflation is beneficial because it ensures that the life raft will inflate even if the crew or passengers are incapacitated.
Combined Manual/Automatic Inflation
All FitzWright Life rafts are designed to offer both manual and automatic inflation options, ensuring versatility in scenarios where accessing the manual inflation handle might be difficult or if the automatic mechanism malfunctions.
To maintain the dependability of your FItzWright life raft and guarentee inflation capablity, an annual inspection is crucial. This inspection includes a thorough assessment for any visible damage, examining the CO2 cylinders, ensuring that the manual inflation cord is accessible, and verifying that the hydrostatic release unit is functioning correctly. For a more detailed explanation on how to properly inflate your FitzWright Life raft, contact your nearest DSS Protection Station.