Liferaft Test, Part 1
11 December 2008
Periodically, liferafts need inspection. The period seems to vary by either manufacturer or country. Bombard, the French company which made the liferaft on Issuma, wants inspections done every three years. Argentina expects them to be done every year. By Bombard standards, it was almost time for my raft to be inspected, so I took it to a local chandlery that said they could do it.
I checked Bombard's website, and they don't seem to have any authorized service stations in South America. I figured it wasn't that important to have an authorized service center inspect it as long as I could be there to see the inspection done (there are horror stories of inspection stations claiming to inspect rafts but really not bothering to). The local chandlery (Costanera Uno) actually sent it off to a liferaft inspection company, IDP, located outside the center of Buenos Aires. After a few taxi rides, I went into a converted house where the inspections were done.
In the picture, the liferaft has been unpacked from the plastic box (not shown) and plastic bag (on the right) that it normally lives in (the plastic bag surrounds the liferaft inside the plastic box, and keeps water out of it).