Rescue Equipment, Ships

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rescue Equipment, Ship’s


facilities for rescuing people from sinking vessels or people who have fallen overboard. A ship’s rescue equipment includes lifesaving gear, accommodations for mounting such gear on a vessel, and devices for launching the gear into the water.

Lifesaving gear may be for mass use, such as lifeboats, life rafts, and special floating boards, or for individual use, such as life buoys and life vests. Such gear may also be either rigid or inflatable and may be deployed manually or automatically. Lifeboats and life rafts are equipped with manual or mechanical means of propulsion, a permanent stock of water and food, and facilities for daytime and nighttime signaling and communication. They are provided with protection from the flames of spilled fuel or petroleum cargoes. The materials used and the design of life-saving gear ensure buoyancy in water over long periods of time and after substantial damage. For example, lifeboats and life rafts contain multiple air chambers called buoyancy tanks. Some types of lifeboats and life rafts are virtually incapable of being capsized; even after turning completely over they return to the normal position.

Lifesaving gear is installed on a vessel in such a way as to protect it from damage during bad weather at sea. The installation also makes it convenient to launch the gear into the water or permits the gear to float automatically to the surface after the vessel sinks. Rescue equipment is located on the open decks of a vessel, and individual lifesaving gear is also installed in the cabins, passageways, and other compartments. The design and durability of rescue equipment and the standards for outfitting seagoing vessels with lifesaving gear are regulated by shipping registries. Rescue equipment is subject to regular inspection and testing and must always be ready for instant use.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.