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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


How do I know which liferaft and how many liferafts I need to navigate?

You must take into account the flag and the navigation area of ​​the ship.

Where on my boat should I locate the liferafts?

Liferafts must be easily accessible by the ship's crew in an emergency. In addition, it is of vital importance that it is well located and positioned by all crew members.

How often should I check my liferaft?

For SOLAS liferafts, an annual periodic review must be done. For recreational life rafts, the ship's flag must be taken into account. If it is a Spanish flag, the review must be every two years.

Is a liferaft stored in a valise or in a container better?

Depending on where we want to place the raft, if we wanted to store it inside the boat, it would be convenient if it was in a valise. If the raft were to be located on deck, a container would be convenient.

Is it mandatory to carry HRU (hydrostatic release)?

Yes it is mandatory for professional boats. It is not mandatory for pleasure boats, although it is recommended if the raft is located on the deck of the boat.


How many lifejackets should I have on board?

At least one for each crew member adapted to their size, weight and age, so you have to consider when it is for an adult and when it is for children or babies.

How do I keep my lifejackets in the best condition?

Keep it in a dry place when they are not being use. Clean with fresh water after sailing if possible.

What types of lifejackets exist and which is the most recommended?

The types of lifejackets are professional or recreational, mainly. Within the professional lifejackets we can find different types depending on the buoyancy system they use, which can be foam or inflatable. According to their size we can have children or adults. Finally, according to its buoyancy (expressed in Newtons (N)), we can find:

  • 50N lifejacket: Their use is limited to the closest to the coast. It is usually used for sports such as kayaking, canoeing, jet skis... Its use does not guarantee that the head of the person in the water is afloat at all times in case of rough seas.
  • 100N lifejacket: Ideal for calm seas, but not enough in case of waves.
  • 150N lifejacket: They are the ones that offer greater versatility. They are manufactured to withstand waves in the open sea.
  • 275N lifejacket: For extreme situations in the open sea and wearing plenty of warm clothing.

How often is a lifejacket checked?

Lifejackets must be checked annually at an Authorized Service Station.

For children, is a foam lifejacket or an inflatable lifejacket better?

The most recommended for children is a foam lifejacket for two fundamental reasons:

If a child were to fall into the water, the foam vest would do its job immediately without the need to wait for it to inflate.

We all know how the children are and we know that they are always playing around. It would be very easy for them to accidentally activate their lifejacket and it would spend more time in the workshop than on the boat.

Which is better, a manual or automatic lifejacket?

For work on deck, it is more recommended to wear a lifejacket with manual inflation, to reduce the risk of accidentally activating the lifejacket handle. However, the automatic lifejacket is safer since when it comes into contact with the water it will inflate automatically and, in case of losing consciousness, it would be activated by itself.

What is the difference between an automatic inflation system with hammar and one with a capsule (or salt tablet)?

Hammar inflate triggers when you exceed a sink limit in water. However, the capsule, or salt tablet, activates the lifejacket as it comes into direct contact with the water.

When is it mandatory to wear a light in the lifejacket?

It is mandatory in commercial lifejackets or for professional use (fishing boats, etc). In sports boats it is not mandatory, although it is recommended, since it greatly increases the visibility of a person fallen into the water in the dark.

Radio Beacon

What is the difference between CAT1, CAT2, PLB?

The CAT1 radio beacons are automatic, stored in a container with a hydrostatic release capable of launching the radio beacon afloat if the ship sinks more than one meter deep. Upon coming into contact with the water, the radio beacon is activated and automatically emits signals (and it emits the position if it has GPS).

CAT2 radio beacons are designed to be stored inside the ship and to be operated manually.

The PLBs are equipment for personal use, manufactured with a smaller size than the radio beacons mentioned above. Unlike the others, these are kept personally by each crew member, being part of her usual clothing. They not only fulfill their function at sea, but also on land, being very useful for hikers, climbers, etc. in Spain they still do not coordinate with the rescue forces.

How often is a radio beacon checked?

Depending on the type of boat, an annual review is mandatory for commercial or professional boats.

Firefighting Equipment

What types of fire classification exist?

Fire classification translates to the type of fire that the extinguishing agent is designed to put out. In this sense, we find five classes:

Class A: they extinguish the existing fire in materials such as wood, straw, paper, fabrics, fibers, etc. called solid fuels.

Class B: burning solids or liquids that emit flammable vapors such as fuels derived from petroleum, solvents, asphalt,... and also natural or artificial gases.

Class C: They are called electrical fires: regardless of their origin, it is the passage of electric current that maintains the fire. When the passage of electricity ceases, the fire will be extinguished or, if it persists, the subsequent fire will be classified as A or B depending on the substances in combustion.

Class D: Fires in metals: magnesium, uranium, titanium, aluminum and others, or their alloys, those of generally self-igniting synthetic substances or other highly unstable products.

Class K (or F): The recently approved UNI 1221:2015 Standard finally incorporates the K denomination that implies fires in fats and cooking oils in kitchen appliances.

What modes of activation of extinguishing systems exist?

These systems can be activated by 3 types of activation: remote activation, automatic activation and manual activation.

What types of gases do extinguishing systems consist of?

There are mainly 4 different types of extinguishing agent: foam, CO2, powder and special for lithium batteries.

Rescue Boats

How often are the rescue boats (RIB) checked?

Rescue boat checks should be done annually.