Lifeboat class

Today was the beginning of Life boatman Class at Compass Courses. This course teaches you to be in charge in an emergency and get the life saving rafts or boats deployed and other passengers / crew into the crafts as safely as possible. The course is led by Capt. Dana Lewis. Much of the day was spent learning about life boats, rafts, safety gear and several real life emergencies were shown and different scenarios involving abandoning ship. Much of this equipment was covered last week in Basic Safety Training, but repetition is a good thing when learning about safety. The reason for the repetition is because most people don’t take all the courses back to back with everyone’s schedules so when you come for just this course, you get the full monty of life raft / boat safety and how-to.

After lunch, we went outside and tried to deploy an inflatable survival raft that had been donated to the school. The raft was officially taken out of service and “condemned”. Inflatable rafts have a specific life span and this one had outlived its useful service life. During a real emergency, you want to count on your raft opening. If it failed to open, you would be in a worse predicament than the one that caused you to need the raft in the first place. Rafts are inspected annually and after so many years are retired. So we set out to deploy the raft. Watch the video below to see the results:

As you can see from the video, this raft was in pretty bad condition. It was too bad it didn’t deploy, but it was still interesting to see how things were packed and organized inside the raft. You definitely want to make sure your equipment is top notch when the day comes that you need it!

 Once we completed the raft exercise, we did a bit more discussion inside the class room and then headed out back to get our first look at the Gravity Lifeboat Davit.  This is some of the equipment we will be training on over the next few days and today was just a quick familiarization walk through for about 15 minutes.  Compass Courses is one of only two schools in the U.S. to have an actual gravity davit like this.  This is what makes their training so good: Realistic is good! 


Good training today!

2 thoughts on “Lifeboat class

  1. Paul, Dammit!

    Lifeboatman was the next-to-most-dull class I took in the modules. The morning spent rowing around was the only part I really remember enjoying. God help you when you do GMDSS. Whiskey helps.

  2. Tower Todd

    Paul, Dammit! You are the first person to post a comment on this new blog. For this you win something, not sure what yet. Thanks for the heads up on GMDSS. Everyone tells me it sucks.


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