Major Types of Marine Lifeboats

Life at sea can often be rough and unexpected. A lifeboat is an important Lifeboatssafety device that is used when there is an emergency situation on a ship. Marine vessels have a variety of safety mechanisms to deal with various kinds of emergencies, like fires and hull breaches. However, there are times when these mechanisms are unable to guarantee the safety of passengers onboard a ship. In such scenarios passengers use lifeboats as a last resort to flee a ship and wait for help.

Commonly Used Types Of Lifeboats

Open Lifeboats

These kinds of lifeboats have no roof and need oars for manual propulsion. However, some modern open lifeboats are also fitted with engines. Open lifeboats were used extensively in the past, but are rapidly being replaced by other lifeboat types that are safer. These kinds of lifeboats also offer very little protection against adverse weather conditions.

Closed Lifeboats

Most of the lifeboats used today are closed lifeboats. These flotation devices are becoming very popular because they offer satisfactory protection from unfavorable weather conditions. Closed lifeboats are also quite effective in keeping out seawater. In general, closed lifeboats are much safer to use than their roofless counterparts.

Free Fall Lifeboats

Free fall lifeboats share many common characteristics with closed lifeboats. However, the launching system for such kinds of lifeboats is quite unique. When the crew needs to use them, they are dropped into the water from a suitable location. Since gravity plays a central part in launching these kinds of lifeboats, they are now referred to as ‘free fall’ lifeboats.

Free Fall Lifeboats

These kinds of lifeboats are aerodynamically designed to ensure that they can easily be dropped into the water without causing any kind of physically injury to the passengers onboard it.

Rescue Platforms

Rescue platforms are flat shaped disk like structures that are thrown out to crewmembers who have fallen off a ship. They have a very limited functionality because they do not possess any kind of survival equipment and the people using them are exposed to the surrounding weather elements.

Coastal Rafts

These kinds of lifeboats have an inflatable tube and a canopy that can easily be erected. They also carry basic survival gear to ensure that the people on them can wait out long periods for help to arrive.

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