Common sense is the best survival tool you will have aboard the life raft. The following dos and don'ts will help you survive in a life raft at sea.
Dos. - The following are helpful things to do while you are trying to survive in a life raft at sea:
Stow all sharp objects and equipment that might abrade or puncture the raft fabric.
Ensure all survival equipment is tied to the life raft. This prevents loss if any item is dropped over the side.
Secure yourself and other survivors to the raft, in case it capsizes. Rough water or a strong wind can easily separate a raft from a survivor.
Ration all food and water. Rationing should be based on the minimum amount of food and water that will sustain life.
Inventory all supplies daily.
Take every precaution to prevent the life raft from turning over.
Sit low in the life raft and distribute the weight to hold the weather side down.
If there is more than one life raft, tie them together. When tieing life rafts together, you should tie the first life raft at the stern and the second one to the bow. Since the LRU-15/A has no bow or stem, tie them together at any available point. If there are more than two LRU-15/A life rafts, the ties should be 180 degrees apart on the center raft.
Allow approximately 25 feet of line between the life rafts; adjust the length of the line to correspond with the state of the sea.
Adjust the sea anchor line so that the sea anchor will stay in the trough when the raft is at the crest of a wave.
In very rough weather, keep a spare sea anchor rigged and ready for instant use in case the one that is deployed breaks loose. A spare sea anchor will have to be improvised as no spare is furnished; however, a paulin, casualty blanket, or signal panel can be used for this purpose.
Be prepared to catch any rainfall, because water is essential to survival at sea.
Don'ts. - The following are some things that you should not do while trying to survive in a life raft at sea:
Never eat any food unless an adequate amount of freshwater is available. The reason is that digestion depletes the body's fluid level. A person in relatively good physical condition can survive only about 6 days without water but can survive up to 40 days without food.
Never drink seawater; it will cause nausea and vomiting, which further depletes the body's water level, and will eventually cause death. Seawater will not quench your thirst; it will increase your thirst.
When fishing never tie your fishing line to the side of the life raft. A large fish can capsize your life raft.
Never tie your fish catch to the life raft. You are inviting a larger fish to a meal.
When you are using the Mk 13 day/night distress signal, never hold it near your life raft. The burning material will drip and can burn a hole in the flotation tube or the floor of the life raft.
Avoid unnecessary moving around inside the life raft. These are just a few dos and don'ts. By using common sense you will be able to add to this list.
Rafting Ashore. - Going ashore in a strong surf is dangerous. Take your time. Select the landing point carefully. Try not to land when the sun is low and straight in front of you. Try to land on the lee side of an island or on a point of land. Keep your eyes open for gaps in the surf line and head for them. Avoid coral reefs and rocky cliffs. Coral reefs do not occur near the mouths of freshwater streams. Avoid rip currents or strong tidal currents, which may carry you far out to sea. Either signal shore for help or sail around and look for a sloping beach where the surf is gentle.
If you must go through surf to reach shore, keep your clothes and shoes on to avoid severe cuts. Adjust and inflate your life vest. TrailContinue Reading