them as just another fixture installed on board.
now riding to the sea painter (bow line), and the boat
crew will cast off first the after and then the forward
Unfortunately, improper installation and maintenance
steadying lines. When the boat gains headway, they cast
have accidentally launched some inflatable boats or,
off the sea painter and the boat is free.
worse, made them useless when needed.
Hoisting Boats by Davits
The procedure for hoisting a boat by davits is the
The standard shipboard allowance of inflatable
reverse of the lowering operation. The personnel on
lifeboats is whatever number will provide room for 100
deck should have everything ready in advance. The
percent of the ship's crew. The issue of inflatable
davits are swung out, and the boat falls and monkey
lifeboats is determined and approved by NAVSEA.
lines are lowered and held to the ship by frapping lines.
TYPES OF INFLATABLE LIFEBOATS
Fenders are rigged, and the handling equipment is
energized and tested
The Navy has successfully used many types of rigid
The ship should provide a lee for the approaching
and inflatable lifeboats throughout the years. Today,
boat; that is, the ship should move ahead slowly in a
Navy ships have either Mk 5 Mod 2, 15-person or Mk 6,
direction to protect the boat from the sea and the wind.
25-person encapsulated lifeboats on board. These
lifeboats come packed in rigid fiber glass containers,
As the boat comes alongside, the sea painter is
with survival gear and rations packed inside the
passed to the boat and secured over the forward inboard
lifeboat. The containers are stowed in cradles or racks
cleat. As the boat rides back on the sea painter, the boat
designed to accommodate them aboard ship.
falls and monkey lines are eased out to the boat. The
forward fall is secured first, then the after fall. When all
CHARACTERISTICS OF INFLATABLE
is hooked up and secured, the crew on deck takes the
slack out of the falls, hoists the boat aboard and secures
it. Davits should be stopped at the weather deck to
The Mk 5 Mod 2 and Mk 6 inflatable lifeboats are
disembark the boat crew.
designed for compact stowage aboard ship and for
quick inflation if it becomes necessary to abandon ship.
A few characteristics of these boats are shown in table
Experience from disasters and experiments
6-1. The lifeboats may be inflated by pulling on the sea
conducted under different conditions have proven that
painter (length, 100 ft), which extends through the
personnel who abandon ship in water below 70°F must
opening at one end of the container. The sea painter is
be kept entirely out of the water and protected from the
faked into a tube inside the carrying case; the entire
elements if they are to survive.
length must be pulled out of the container to activate the
Navy ships have inflatable lifeboats installed on
board that not only keep surviving personnel out of the
Each lifeboat has a double-layered canopy with
sea, but also have canopies to provide shelter from the
boarding openings at each end. The openings are fitted
elements. As with many safety items, we tend to accept
with closures that may be closed as desired. An air
Table 6-1.--Characteristics of Inflatable Lifeboats
Mk 5 Mod 2