Life raft training

thumb life raft training 018The snorkelling team together with a local sea scout group recently held a life raft training session.

The session was a one hour taster session based on a full day RYA sea survival course run by Stormforce coaching in Southampton.  Details can be found at

We used a 6 man life raft with 12 students split in to two groups.

life raft training 010The session started with the students jumping in to the pool fully clothed in wet weather gear, moving away from point of entry to form a group in the water to prevent anyone being separated from the group in a real life evacuation.

They were next taught how to enter the life raft from the side, as if entering from a boat. How to space out in the life raft and generally experience how it feels to be floating in the life raft, if only for a few minutes it showed how cramped, wet and hot it becomes.

Following on, the students had a go at entering the life raft from the water. Those of us that dive from a RIB will know how hard it is to pull yourself up over a rubber tube, especially in full clothing with a buoyancy aid on. They quickly learnt to put the strongest person in first who could help the rest in.

Finally a full evacuation scenario was tried out. 6 students entered the water, formed a circle, and then formed a ‘crocodile’ to make their way to the life raft. They were prepped that one person should be the leader and another person would pretend to have a broken arm, amongst themselves they had to decide in which order they should enter the life raft and how they would deal with a casualty, all this while the other group and many willing volunteers threw buckets of water at them to simulate a stormy sea.

The session was great fun and an enjoyable way of teaching a serious lesson. I’m sure the life raft will become a regular feature in the raft final scenario

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