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Survitec has produced an informative showreel highlighting the work its technicians undertake when liferafts enter one of its global service stations for inspection and servicing under statutory requirements.

Broadcast on the YouTube platform, the day-in-the-life-of-style footage shows Dave Guy, a Survitec marine service technician with more than 36 years’ experience, explain the processes involved in ensuring liferafts are returned to their ships and rigs compliant and fit for purpose.

From the company’s service station on England’s south coast, Guy takes the viewer on a servicing journey from the moment a liferaft enters the facility to when it is shipped back to the customer.

“When a liferaft arrives, we unpack it and fully inflate it – which can take up to three minutes, depending on the size – to ensure correct inflated pressure is maintained for at least two or three hours,” Guy says. “We’re checking for leaks, so this helps us identify any issues in the liferaft that need to be resolved.”

While the pressure test is taking place, the YouTube clip shows Guy checking and replenishing liferaft provisions.  “Each liferaft has an emergency pack that includes rations, drinking water, first aid kits and pyrotechnics. We are essentially checking that nothing has been damaged and is still in complete working order,” he says.

Many items in a liferaft’s emergency kit have a “use by date”. These are replaced if the component will be out of date by the time of the next service.

“Some of the items have a five-year life expectancy, while other components have three-years’, so they may be replaced or could last till the next time we service the liferaft,” says Guy.  Glue in the repair kits and torch batteries are replaced as matter of course.

The three-minute video details the rigorous checks service personnel carry out to each component and test report before the inflatable liferaft it is carefully packed back inside the container. A service report is then linked to the liferaft’s unique serial number to provide full-service traceability via Survitec’s electronic database system. A service certificate is also issued with each returned liferaft.

With larger liferafts taking up to a day to service, Survitec prioritises liferaft servicing according to the customer’s port schedule, which ensures liferafts are serviced and delivered on time.

The number of liferafts just one person services each year alone is indicative of the sheer volume of liferafts the company services globally. “I probably service between 200 to 300 liferafts a year,” explains Guy, an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) trained and certified technician.

All liferafts serviced at an approved Survitec service station are serviced in accordance to the applicable service manual and requirements of the statutory body. It is also a requirement under IMO Resolution A761(18) that personnel attached to accredited service stations are regularly trained by the OEM.

The YouTube video can be viewed at: