Common sense is the best survival tool you will
have aboard the life raft. The following dos and
donts 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:
l 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.
l 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.
l 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
l Allow approximately 25 feet of line
between the life rafts; adjust the length of the line
to correspond with the state of the sea.
l 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.
l 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.
Donts. 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 bodys 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 bodys
water level, and will eventually cause death.
Seawater will not quench your thirst; it will
increase your thirst.
l When fishing never tie your fishing line to
the side of the life raft. A large fish can capsize
your life raft.
l 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
. Avoid unnecessary moving around inside
the life raft.
These are just a few dos and donts. By using
common sense you will be able to add to this
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. Trail