- The system comprises an undercasing encapsulated life raft and an innovative, yet simple, deployment system. The system can be deployed at depth or with the submarine surfaced.
- Once released the self righting life raft is tethered to the submarine via a weak link. The life raft also houses a radio/gps location signal beacon.
- The system only requires a single, small, hull penetration for operation.
- Directly replaces the existing indicator buoy system but with the added functionality of a life raft.
- Activation by a single crew member.
- Deploys at any depth from deep dive up to submarine on surface.
- Self contained system not reliant on external power source provided by the submarine.
- Deployment results in life raft floating on surface attached by taut tether to Submarine.
- Can be retro-fitted at any convenient position on top side of Submarine under casing.
- Foot print for 35 man life raft container is 1500 mm square by 1300 mm deep.
- Parametric design enables customer to select a SOLAS approved life raft with capacity from 1 person to 60 persons (constraints in space under casing may restrict size of life raft).
- Designed to survive all the environmental extremes encountered by equipment mounted under casing on the submarines of todays navies.
Function of the Life Raft
- The life raft is self-righting once fully inflated and provides a safe haven for the crew.
- Once the raft has surfaced, it acts as an emergency beacon, transmitting the location of the crew to rescuers.
- The life raft is released from either the inside of the submarine, using existing indicator buoy release systems, or by a casing mounted release handle.
- The life raft fully complies with:-
- NATO standards
- Applicable SOLAS regulations
- Life Saving Appliance Code
- Mechanical Safety Devices prevent the life raft from being deployed prematurely.
Life Raft Communication System GPS & Indicator Buoy
- An accurate, watertight signal beacon automatically transmits COSPAS/SARSAT system with longitude and latitude coordinates, and acts as an accurate indicator buoy for rescue.
- The system is easily maintained and accessible due to our focus on simplicity and design for support
- The life raft is maintained by a SOLAS approved service station.
- No special tools or specialist contractor support is necessary for maintaining the system.
- Training will be provided to local SOLAS service and submarine crews such that they are able to fully maintain the system.
The system is deployed in four steps:
- The decision is made to deploy and the release mechanism is activated.
- Casing cover released, retaining strap released and life raft container system armed. Container floats to surface if underwater due to its buoyancy. If Submarine is already surfaced the container will stay in its cradle.
- Container ejects life raft as a sensor detects that it has reached the surface. The life raft is ejected from the container and inflated. When on the surface the container is held in its cradle and the life raft ejected out whilst pushing the casing cover aside. The life raft remains tethered to the submarine.
- The life raft inflates and the signal beacon activates and starts broadcasting. When the Submarine is surfaced the life raft is still capable of remaining tethered. A weak link on the tether releases if the depth of the Submarine is more than the tether length. The crew can then enter the life raft.