Helicopter Extractable Cold Weather/Water Liferaft.
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
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An inflatable liferaft improves disaster victims chances of survival, particularly in cold waters. Three inflatable ribs support a layered canopy from the sides of the raft to assure protection from the elements. A highly reflective coating or an equivalent space-blanket type material is provided on the inside of the canopy to help keep the occupants warm and act as a radar reflector. The inflatable ribs also aerodynamically shape the raft to stabilize it in high wind states and while being towed through the air by a rescue helicopter. A hoisting harness cradles the bottom and sides of the raft and is connected to an enlarged hoisting eye located overhead or floating on the water to assure an unassisted, reliable engagement by a helicopter-born hook. After the hook has engaged the hoisting eye and as the harness lifts the raft from the water, a number of covers located along the bottom of the rafts hemispherical ballasting chamber are pulled from their respective openings to allow the rapid dumping of ballast water. Thusly relieved of this load, the helicopter can rapidly transport the survivors to a medical facility. Because the liferaft is plucked from the water intact, the incapacitated have a better chance of survival and the others along with the rescue team are not exposed further to cold water on the helicopters downwash. Author
- Escape, Rescue and Survival