In far too many marine disasters, life rafts are in fact available for use, but passengers and crews either were not trained in how to deploy the life rafts, or the rafts were inaccessible.
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an international maritime safety treaty, designed to ensure that ships comply with minimum safety standards. Primarily concerned with commercial shipping vessels, one section of the treaty applies to all boats on the sea, from private yachts on local pleasure trips to containerships on international voyages.
One very firmly established tenet of SOLAS says that commercial vessels must carry operable life rafts.
An Australian company recently designed a new automatic life raft inflation system that relies on the life raft’s slight submersion to inflate, eliminating human mistakes or accessibility issues.
This new design means that ships’ crews will no longer be responsible for launching life rafts; any user in need can simply push the life raft into the water, where it will automatically inflate as soon as it is slightly submerged. If the vessel lists and causes the life rafts to become inaccessible, the life raft will still self-inflate upon contact with water, breaking itself free of its mount. The life rafts can also be deployed remotely.
I Was Hurt on a Commercial Vessel. Can an Experienced Maritime Attorney Help Me?
When you take your family on a boat, you trust the owners and operators with the lives of your loved ones. This is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly.
If you were hurt on a passenger vessel, you need to speak with an experienced maritime attorney. Latti & Anderson LLP offers free consultations regarding your rights under maritime law, which is extremely complex. Talk with us about your situation, and let us help determine if you are eligible to receive compensation.
Latti’s Little Extra: The first version of the SOLAS treaty came in 1914, after the sinking of the Titanic. It was never enforced due to the outbreak of WWI.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys