A LIFE RAFT IS A LAST-RESORT SURVIVAL system designed to provide flotation and protection from the elements, as well as to provide a platform from which to conduct survival efforts. Life rafts play a crucial role for survival in ocean emergencies. That is why any decisions you make concerning your life raft system might have serious and far-reaching consequences in an actual emergency. Therefore, before purchasing a life raft for your yacht, familiarize yourself thoroughly with the “whys and hows” of the basic construction and usage of life rafts.
The following section will focus on important points concerning purchase of a life raft, and routine maintenance and care of the life raft system. Although every yachtsman hopes that he will never need to deploy his life raft, he must also bear in mind that if and when the time does come, his life and the lives of his crew most likely will be affected by the integrity of the life-raft system he has chosen.
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