Check your Safety Equipment

As a marine surveyor we get to see safety equipment of all shapes and sizes, fitted in all manner of different locations and in different ways and in various states of repair. Regrettably over 50% of vessels surveyed have the wrong type of safety equipment, safety equipment poorly maintained or incorrectly fitted.


Some of the most alarming items include inflatable Danbuoys or Horse Shoe Buoys fitted on the pushpit but when inspected found to be badly perished and their inflation bottle corroded. In two cases the inflatable devices would never had deployed and operated as designed.

Danbouy corroded

An inflatable Dabbuoy found to be bady perished and the inflation bottle corroded.

Horse Show Buoy lights are regulary found to not operate as the batteries are flat or the unit full of water!

Automatic Fire Extinguishers are regularly found out of date or where remotely operated from say a lever in the cockpit, the safety pins still remain fitted on the unit!

Lifejackets are another common area of concern where they are out of date and the inflation bottles badly corroded.

Liferafts should be serviced regularly and stowed in a manner such that they can be accessible. I regularly find liferafts stowed at the bottom of a cockpit locker totally unaccessible, liferafts stowed on the pushpit secured by a padlock!!!, painter lines for the lifertafts not secured, and worst of all hydrostatic releases wrongly fitted such that they would never operate and stopping the relase of the raft manually.

MCA liferaft installation

A liferaft correctly installed with a hydrostatic release

Finally flares, found to be poorly stowed, out of date (not by a few months but by years) and in one case a set of flares 5 years out of date, stowed in a canister full of water and on the brokerage details stating clearly 'Offshore set of flares in canister'. This vessel in question was being sold Blue Water Cruising Ready!

Please check you safety equipment regularly, if it has an inflation bottle (such as a lifejacket), it need inspected annually and servicing as per the manufacturers recommendations. If you flares expire, dispose of them as per local regulations. Do not retain out of date flares (just in case I may need them!).

If you need advice or new safety equipment contact us as we are Ocean Safety Dealers and any equipment purchased through Hamble Marine Surveys comes with free delivery, free fitting if local and free advice and training.