Coast Guard Rescue Equipments
Survival and Disaster Preparedness Equipment: A Technical Assessment
Providing a technical analysis of basic survival and emergency equipment issues as they pertain to the commercial fishing industry, this appendix serves as a supplement to the main text. Most of the information in this report comes from interviews with Coast Guard and Underwriter Laboratories (UL) personnel who have functional responsibilities for safety and survival equipment, among other sources.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EQUIPMENT
Prior to July 1990, the federal regulations governing survival equipment varied depending on the size of the vessel, the operating area, the nature of the employment or use, and the number of people on board the vessel. In Table I-1, you will find a summary of the safety and survival equipment that must be carried on uninspected fishing vessels. Each person on board an uninspected fishing vessel must have at a minimum one readily accessible, wearable personal flotation device (PFD) of the appropriate type and size for their age and size. Additionally, a prescribed number of fire extinguishers and other equipment must be transported. It is not necessary to use visual distress signals. According to Coast Guard regulations and equipment specifications for approved equipment, all equipment must be installed, accessible, or worn in the proper manner. It is permissible to transport lifesaving devices that have not been approved by the Coast Guard on board vessels in order to supplement those that are required. The Coast Guard does not require life rafts or VHF-FM portable radios as survival equipment, but they may be carried on uninspected fishing vessels as additional equipment (see McCay et al., 1989; National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB], 1987). In addition, it is stated that basic safety equipment items such as protective headwear, flexible wire mesh gloves, and high-traction footwear are recommended.
Lifeboats are available.
Typically, this is the primary piece of life-saving equipment used when the crew and passengers are instructed to “abandon” the ship and require out-of-water assistance. In order for the total number of people on board to be evacuated from either port or starboard, they must be available in sufficient quantity and support the required capacity and size. (This is done in order to ensure that, in the event of the ship capizing to one side, such as port, the lifeboats can be lowered from the starboard side and everyone on board can be rescued.)
Boats for Search and Rescue
This type of boat is small and lightweight, and it is designed with the goal of rescuing people in distress while also towing the survival craft (such as life rafts and buoyant apparatus). When recovering a person in the water from either side of the boat, they are designed to be launched in minutes and must maintain their stability throughout the process. They are typically launched by davit and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A typical construction material is fibreglass, with rubber buoyancy chambers inflated to provide additional stability for the vessel.
Ring-Life Buoys are buoys that are used to save lives in a ring.
These are the standard life-saving devices that are found on all small and large vessels alike (You may have spotted them even on the sides of swimming pools). They are installed around the perimeter of a ship’s weather deck and are designed to be thrown quickly to a person who has fallen overboard from the ship.
A man falling overboard is a common occurrence, and these buoys are the most effective means of rescuing him as quickly as possible.