VIKING LIFERAFT WAS VITAL TO ABSECON INLET RESCUE
While heading ashore at Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the middle of the night, the craft struck an uncharted sandbar near the Absecon Inlet. If it wasn't for their versatile Viking Life-Saving Equipment RescYou Liferaft, the situation would've been much worse.
As 6-8' swells quickly developed into 5-6' breakers, the sailboat was pushed farther onto the sandbar. All the crew's attempts to reach deeper water were unsuccessful. With the keel bouncing off the bottom, the lightweight boat was receiving a considerable beating and started taking on water. Unable to keep up with the rising water, the crew called the USCG while the VHF was still operable to relay their circumstances and estimated position. With water in the cabin at 3' and rising, the crew deployed their 6-person RescYou Liferaft and tethered it to the rail. Chris Kelly was onboard the sailboat.
"At first, we thought the raft would be useful to float us to rescue craft in deeper water, but as it turned out, it immediately helped our circumstances," said Kelly. "I was really impressed with the SOLAS emergency equipment. One of the two red parachute signal rockets located in the liferaft was launched and proved invaluable in establishing our position. The 12-gauge aerial flares carried onboard our vessel either misfired or were ineffective in highlighting our location."
After an hour in the water, two of the four-man crew started developing hypothermia. To avoid further exposure to the elements, they boarded the Viking liferaft and their condition rapidly improved. As rescue units approached, the S.O.S. strobe light on top of the canopy provided an active homing device.
Since rescue by sea was impossible, the crew was airlifted by a USCG helicopter to awaiting medical personnel. "There was a positive outcome because of all the safety gear they had onboard," said petty officer 2nd class Tye Conklin, a rescue swimmer at USCG Air Station Atlantic City where the crew was taken.
"Everyone onboard believes the Viking RescYou Liferaft made a critical difference in our rescue and kept a bad situation from turning worse," said Kelly. "Overall, it was well-constructed and easy to handle, launch and board. I'll feel safer in the future knowing there's a Viking liferaft onboard."
Viking Life-Saving Equipment built its reputation manufacturing life-saving equipment to the highest possible safety standards. The company has been a leader in maritime safety for almost 50 years, providing essential safety and fire-fighting equipment to the yachting, passenger, cargo, offshore, fishing, defense and fire markets.
Contact Viking Life-Saving Equipment, 1400 NW 159th St., #101, Miami, FL 33169. 305-614-5800. firstname.lastname@example.org.