in addition, a set of numeral and special meaning flags
4. Reinstall the cork securely into the grommet.
5. Fasten the painter securely to the ship's structure
at a point accessible to the person launching the lifeboat.
PARTS OF A FLAG
Figure 6-7 shows the various types of flags and their
LIFEBOATS AND SIGNALS
JCS Pub 2, Unified Action Armed Forces requires
The FLY is the length of the flag, measured from
that a ship at sea have at least one boat rigged and ready
the staff to the flag's outside edge.
for use as a lifeboat. Your ship's boat bill will specify the
The HOIST is the vertical width of the flag when
exact condition of the lifeboat and the items of
it is flying free.
equipment that must be in it. On MCM class ships, the
rigid-hull inflatable boat is used as the lifeboat.
The TABLING is the double thickness of
At the beginning of each watch, the lifeboat
bunting-taped, bound, and stitched-at the
coxswain will muster the crew, check the boat and gear,
staff side of a flag.
have the engine tested, and report to the officer of the
The TAIL LINE, carrying the snap hook, is a
short length of halyard attached to the lower part
Every crew member must know lifeboat recovery
of the tabling. It serves as a spacer, separating the
procedures, in case someone goes overboard. Quick
flags of a hoist to make reading the signals easier.
recovery is particularly important in cold water, in
which a victim can live only a few minutes.
The RING is attached to the top of the tabling
and snaps into the tail line of the preceding flag
Once a lifeboat is in the water, it will be directed to
or hook of the halyard.
the victim, but the victim's position relative to the ship
will probably have changed before the lifeboat gets
The TACKLINE is a 6-foot length of braided
there. To help direct the boat to the victim, a simple
signal halyard with a ring at one end and a snap
system of signals is used.
hook at the other. The tackline is used to separate
signals or groups of numerals that if not
During the day, directions are given by flags hoisted
where they can be seen best; at night, directions are
given by flashing light or pyrotechnics. Figure 6-6
shows the flaghoist, flashing light, and pyrotechnic
by the Mk 5 pyrotechnic pistol may also be used to
direct the boat.
The boat should approach from downwind, to keep
from being blown over the victim. The last part of the
approach should be made with the engine stopped, with
the recovery attempt made at the bow. If possible, the
coxswain should try to avoid having the screw turning
in the vicinity of the victim.
Flaghoist signaling provides a rapid and accurate
system for sending maneuvering and information
signals of reasonable length, during daylight, between
ships within sight of each other. Of all visual signals, a
flaghoist signal tends to ensure the most uniform
execution of a maneuver.
For signaling by flaghoist, the Navy uses the
international alphabet flags and numeral pennants and,