07:06am Wednesday 08 July 2020

Unique exercise with 12 people on life raft for 48 hours

Together with Chalmers, Lighthouse and the EU project SMACS (Safer Arctic for Small Craft Mariners) the Swedish Sea rescue Society put the twelve carefully selected test persons in the raft on Monday evening. The stream may take them, waiting is long. Its purpose is to study how an emergency at sea working and which elements of risk that exists. On board the life raft is only the emergency supplies that life rafts under current regulations are equipped with; 15 cups of water and 500 grams of biscuits per person.

– How do the participants’ days in life raft physically, psychologically and cognitively? To sit trapped in a very confined space with strangers, hungry and probably seasick and not knowing when rescue comes, it is stressful for anyone. Even to defecate will be a challenge, says Matthew Fader who is Project Manager at the Swedish Sea Rescue Society and one of the twelve on the raft.

Another participant is researcher Fredrik Forsman at the Human Factors group at the department of Shipping and Marine Technology:

– It will be a really exciting trial, which will hopefully give much great knowledge about this kind of situation, he says.
The whole chain is practiced, from launching a life raft, put on survival suits and evacuating a ship to emergency procedures, rescue organization and the rescue operation.

– By practicing as if it were the real thing, we can design better and more effective methods for training and preparation. We also get useful knowledge about how it is to rescue distressed victims of prolonged physical and mental pressure, says Matthew Father.

The exercise will be followed live from a nearby escort boat. At the Sea Rescue Society’s website, you can get live reports of how the situation is on the life raft.
Monday 5/26, 16:00 : The exercise starts , the test participants are aboard the accident ship in northern archipelago of Gothenburg. The ship is wrecked about 18:00 , when the participants are evacuated to the life raft .
Tuesday 27/ 5, 10:00: Media is giving the opportunity to on-site monitoring raft, drifting freely at sea throughout Tuesday.
Wednesday 28/ 5, 0:00: The alarm is received by the sea and air rescue center JRCC around midnight, search begins. The raft is expected to be rescued sometime in the next 12 hours.

Read more about the EU project SMACS

Text and photo: Swedish Sea Rescue Society


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