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11 Main Personal Life-Saving Appliances Used Onboard Ship

They say safety is not just a rule, it is a culture to live by. Ship and marine safety have always been an integral part of a seaman’s life. It is the primary concern for all shipbuilders, manufacturers, and service providers, as adhering to safety compliances is a must for preserving human life on open seas.

To this end, there are several personal life-saving appliances that are used on ships to protect the lives of all sailors on board. These include:

  • Safety helmet

A safety helmet is one of the most imperative personal life-saving equipment used on the ship. It is generally made of hard plastic and can be fastened under the chin. It can protect the sailors from cranial injuries during storms or rough weather.

  • Safety Shoes

Trading and merchant ships have large amounts of machinery and tools, which make navigating through the ship a difficult task. Although ship discipline is mandatory, it pays to prevent accidents by using safety shoes which protect the feet from being injured.

  • Safety Hand Gloves

Various types of safety gloves are used while maintaining machinery and handling cargo on ships. The crew has to protect their hands from hot and rough surfaces, chemicals, abrasive material, and other substances. This requires gloves with insulation, chemical resistance, and fire-resistance.

  • Goggles

Ship maintenance includes various processes such as welding, machining, etc. In addition, the constant reflective glare from the sea can also damage the eyes. Hence, different types of goggles are used to protect the crew members’ eyes from being damaged.

  • Ear Muffs/Plugs

The numerous mechanisms driving the engine of large ships and cargo carriers produce an inordinate amount of sound, sometimes as high as 110-120 db. Constant exposure to this kind of noise levels can permanently damage the hearing capabilities of sailors. As a result, seamen are advised to wear ear muffs or ear plugs to protect from auditory damage.

  • Safety harness

The safety harness is used to strap the crew member in safely, as routine ship inspection and maintenance measures are carried out at elevated heights. The harness is tied to a fixed point at one end and is used in conjunction with shock absorbers to reduce the impact if necessary.

  • Fire and Immersion Suit

As the name suggests, fire and immersion suits are used to protect the wearer in care of fires at sea. Immersion suits are generally made completely of rubber, specifically neoprene, and help the person stay afloat without exposing any part of the person’s body to the sea. They are also bright in color, fluorescent reds and oranges being preferred, which makes them easy to spot from a distance.

  • Life rafts

Life rafts are one of the primary life-saving devices that are mandatory on ships. There are generally expected to be enough life rafts to carry 120% of the ship’s population. These are used in case the ship capsizes in an accident, or for short journeys away from ships. Life rafts are generally self-inflatable and can be easily launched in case of an emergency.

  • Lifebuoys

A lifebuoy is usually a ring-shaped personal safety device, used to protect a person from drowning at sea. Made of rubber, the personal flotation device is brightly coloured and available in different sizes for different age groups.

  • Life jackets

Life jackets are an important personal life-saving device that has been used by seafarers since ages. The design of lifejackets has developed over the years, with the current design being polyester stuffed with foam cubes. Life jackets fit the wearer snugly and prevent him/her from drowning when inflated, based on the principle of buoyancy.

  • Marine Distress Signals

Marine distress signals include line throwers, man-overboard light and smoke signals, parachute rockets, and other buoyant smoke signals. These are used to indicate that the person or the ship requires external aid.

These are 11 principal personal life-saving appliances that are essential for ships. Ship and lifejacket manufacturers and liferaft service providers in India, like SHM Shipcare, provide quality life-saving devices, to make safe seas and safe shores a reality.

Personal Life-Saving Appliances

              Life-Saving accessories manufactured by SHM Group

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