Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the history of the Group?
- How often should I have my liferaft serviced?
- Where should I have my Survitec Group liferaft serviced?
- Why should I get my liferaft serviced by an approved service station?
- How can my company become an approved service station?
- Can I attend a training course?
- How long does it take a Marin-Ark system to deploy?
- What are the Marin-Ark installation height restrictions?
- Can a Marin-Ark liferaft be towed?
- Is the Marin-Ark chute a vertical “free-fall”?
- Does the Marin-Ark have a float free capability?
- What e-pack options are available?
- What is the Survitec Group?
What is the history of the Group?
Survitec Group was formerly known as the Inflatable Systems Division of Wardle Storeys Ltd. Its history dates back to 1920, when RFD was formed and named after its founder - Reginald Foster Dagnall.
In recent years the company has continued to expand and evolve, both through growth of market share, and through the acquisition of other leading manufacturers and brands, including the acquisition of Beaufort which can trace its foundations back to the 1850s.
Survitec Group is proud of its many achievements over many years of development. We invite you to look at our timeline under the 'About Us' section.
How often should I have my liferaft serviced?
RFD Seasava Plus X life rafts should be serviced every 3 years and the RFD Seasava Plus every year in order to maintain the reliability so essential in an item of lifesaving equipment. SOLAS life rafts, however, must be serviced every twelve months in accordance with national and international regulations.
Where should I have my Survitec Group liferaft serviced?
At an approved Survitec Group service station. You can find the most convenient service station for your vessel using our Service Station Search facility.
Why should I get my liferaft serviced by an approved service station?
A service station which is Survitec approved will not only have the facilities to carry out a service, but will employ properly trained personnel (trained by Survitec Group) and will also use Survitec approved spare parts.
How can my company become an approved service station?
All service stations have to undergo a rigorous inspection and assessment process from both Survitec and the national authority in order to be considered. The first point of contact should be the Survitec Group Technical Services Manager whose details are provided in Service Network section of this website.
Can I attend a training course?
Only personnel employed by an approved service station may attend a training course.
How long does it take a Marin-Ark system to deploy?
The RFD Marin-Ark marine evacuation system is simple to deploy and once activated is fully deployed and operationally ready to receive passengers after 90 seconds. The crew team leader initiates the deployment by activating the primary automatic release mechanism. It is a simple pneumatic hand pump, which activates a gas charge which pushes the stowage unit (containing the liferafts and chutes) out from the ships side. Once the system has reached approximately 1m from the ships side the stowage unit tips and the gravity causes the liferafts and chutes to fall to the water. The inflation of the liferafts commence before they reach the water.
What are the Marin-Ark installation height restrictions?
The current restrictions on the installation height of a Marin-Ark system is as follows. The minimum approved installation height is 8m (measured from the deck to the water line). The maximum approved installation height is 23.5m (measured from the deck to the water line).
Can a Marin-Ark liferaft be towed?
The liferaft can be towed away from the stricken vessel by a fast rescue boat or by another craft. RFD Marin-Ark has successfully fulfilled all the requirements of the towing test as set by SOLAS for compliance with SOLAS Chapter III 1983 & Amendments 1996 regulations. A Marin-Ark liferaft was fully loaded to its complement with ballast bags filled with water. It was first towed at 2 knots, and the load observed.
During the test the speed was raised to 2.5 knots, 3 knots and 3.5 knots and the corresponding loads observed. The liferaft towed steadily and sustained no damage to itself or equipment. See table below. Results Speed(knots) Towing load(kg) 2 210 2.5 300 3 400 3.5 580 The above towing trial demonstrated that a rescue craft would require a minimum towing load of 210 kg to tow a Marin-Ark liferaft at 2 knots.
Is the Marin-Ark chute a vertical “free-fall”?
The Marin-Ark chute provides a rapid, yet safe and controlled evacuation for passengers and crew. The internal construction of the chute is designed with a series of concentric cells, which are offset to bring the evacuee down into the liferaft in a controlled manner. The exit of each cell has a simple fabric and elastic arrangement, which controls the descent and transfers the evacuee safely into the next cell until reaching the chute exit.
The chute is also fully enclosed to protect evacuees from the elements, the wind, the rain and the sea. Uniquely the Marin-Ark chute is telescopic, which provides a continuous and unhindered evacuation. The chute reacts to the changing sea state and ship list conditions.
Does the Marin-Ark have a float free capability?
The RFD Marin-Ark does have a float-free capability. In the event of the ship sinking before the system can be manned and deployed in the normal way, it will be released automatically and liferafts will float free. A hydrostatic release unit incorporated in the primary auto release system initiates the release sequence when submerged to a depth of 1.5 – 4.0 metres. If the Marin-Ark station is installed between decks, the outboard door in the ship’s side automatically releases and the liferafts and chutes are ejected. If the Marin-Ark station is installed on an open deck the outboard door of the GRP housing is released in the same manner.
As the ship sinks, the packed liferafts, which have positive buoyancy, float towards the surface, inflation being initiated automatically. On reaching the surface, the liferafts fully inflate and because of the reversible design are always the right way up and ready for boarding and use by the evacuees in the water. The bowsing lines are automatically released by means of hydrostatic release units. The chutes, which remain attached to the ship are disconnected automatically from the liferafts also by means of hydrostatic release units built into the laced connections between the chutes and the liferafts.
What e-pack options are available?
FAR91 & FAR135 would be the two standard E-pack options. FAR91 is the 'basic' pack, where the emphasis is on signalling (pack includes Mini-Flare Mk3). The FAR135 E-pack, which is more comprehensive (and heavier), includes a reverse osmosis pump and emergency rations. JAR OPS3 compliant and customised packs are also available.
What is the Survitec Group?
The Survitec Group brings together a number of leading, best-in-class brands for the commercial marine, defence, aviation, offshore and leisure marine markets worldwide so that our customers can benefit from innovative products that have been thoughtfully designed and carefully manufactured to stringent quality standards you can trust. Through our global network of service and distribution centres, we’re able to support the operational challenges of our customers at any time across the world through coverage at over 600 locations. We’re committed to ensuring lifetime after-sales support for our product range.
RFD Ltd is positioned as the Commercial Marine and Leisure Division of the group, specialising in the design, development and manufacture of safety and survival equipment for the Commercial Marine and Leisure Marine markets. Click here for more information.