At Sea — March 2001
By Capt. Bill Pike
The Ultimate Glitch
that lifecraft you’ve got onboard is fallible as well as inflatable?
That’s what I thought.
Sometimes I’m a little too optimistic, I guess. For example, until
recently my take on most any kind of inflatable liferaft was buoyantly
positive. Not that such naiveté came from my actual use of one
to survive any sort of catastrophe during the years I worked at sea. In
fact, to this day I’ve never had to deploy any kind of emergency
lifesaving equipment under anything like extreme conditions (knock on
wood), unless you count the liferaft training sessions I endured at the
maritime academy some 25 years ago. In part intended to discourage cadets
who weren’t up to the bleaker realities of seafaring, these exercises
were both intense and instructive, what with having to deploy a succession
of rafts and then struggle into each one from the bone-chilling waters
of Lake Michigan. The experience helped build character, no doubt, but
it also imbued me with the belief that liferafts always work.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.