As a mariner, ensuring the safety of your crew and passengers is of utmost importance. One of the essential pieces of equipment that can save lives in an emergency is a liferaft. ISO 9650 is the international standard that governs the design, construction, and performance of liferafts.
ISO 9650 – Part 1 defines the intended use and number of persons they can accommodate:
- Having a carrying capacity of 4 persons to 16 persons
- Intended for small craft of a hull length of up to 24m
- Intended for launching overboard from a height not exceeding 6m
All ISO 9650 liferafts must meet certain performance requirements, such as buoyancy, stability, and resistance to capsizing in rough seas. They must also be equipped with necessary survival equipment, such as an insulated floor, boarding ramp with ladder, food rations, drinking water, first aid kit, etc.
It is important to choose a liferaft that meets the ISO 9650 standard, as this ensures that the liferaft is fit for its intended purpose and has been tested to meet specific safety requirements. It is also important to properly maintain and periodically inspect your liferaft to ensure it is ready for use in case of an emergency.
RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) sets the notice of race for many offshore races including the Fastnet Race and it is important to read through the Notice of Race to understand all the safety requirement for taking part for your specific yacht. Whether you need a 4-man liferaft or 6-man liferaft for example and what liferaft contents or supplementary grab bag is required.
A liferaft is an essential piece of equipment for any mariner and choosing one that meets the ISO 9650 standard is crucial for ensuring the safety of all onboard. Make sure to choose the right type of liferaft for your intended use, properly maintain it, and inspect it regularly. Stay safe at sea!