In all ocean and offshore vessels, rescue boats are mandatory to be on-board for rescue operations in case of man overboard.
On this article, we are going to look into a proper way of maintaining the rescue boat outboard engine. First, you should understand that without the engine in working condition, the boat is out of no use.
I was once in some Nigerian inland water ships, most of them have rescue boat on-board but, they are not in working condition. Either the engine is out of order or the boat itself has one fault or the other. Likewise the lifeboats.
To my own opinion, rescue boat and lifeboats are very important to be in a good working condition in respect of the rules and laws guiding them. Some of these ships are about 20 to 30 years old and some of the sideboard rails are weak, which can send someone overboard if care is not taking.
Therefore, for the crews to be on the safe side, its important for the officers onboard to carry out regular checks, repairs, and keep up to date all needed first aid equipment or drinks. To make sure that enough fuel, oil, and water are at the normal level.
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In the case of the rescue boat, its required that the engineers onboard check the engine at least once a week. Start the engine while allowing the propeller into the water ( bowel ), allow the engine to take in cooling water and check the cooling water outlet returning. In case the cooling water refuses to return, that indicates that the waterway is blocked either by deposited salt or rust. Report any abnormality, request for spares, and carry out overhauling if possible.
The engine spark plug may go out of order if the engine is idle for a long time. change them and try out the engine for proper functioning.
In general, make sure that the required tools are in the tools box of the rescue boat, test the searchlight and make sure it’s in operational condition, check the paddle, hooks, etc if they are in place. Check the boat drain plug for proper closing.
According to the rules, it’s important to lower the rescue boat into the water at least once or twice a month. This is to enable the engine to work in full efficiency and there you can properly understand the performance of the engine while on-load.
With the above listed and explanations, we hope you can keep your crew and yourself rescued during man overboard emergency.
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