Do manufacturers abide by the self-regulating ISO 9650 liferaft standard? Does the standard go far enough?
Chris Beeson from Yachting magazine tests six liferafts to find out.
Six ISO 9650 liferafts tested
Yachting’s greatest disaster was the 1979 Fastnet Race storm when 15 sailors died. Liferafts capsized and some even broke up in the Force 10 seas. As a result, a new manufacturing standard for liferafts was established by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). Although it was admirable in intention it was lacking in detail – its requirements covered just half a page of A4 paper.
Twenty years on, the shortcomings of the ORC standard were exposed by the 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race, when another six lives were lost. The resulting inquiry demanded a leisure liferaft standard thorough enough to be the last word in liferaft design. In 2005 the ISO 9650 standard was more….