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All inflatable life rafts have an emergency pack which according to SOLAS requirement, there are SOLAS A and B two type. Here we will learn the difference between SOLAS A and B.


1.Life rafts: Standards of equipment

Life Raft Construction

  • Insulating double wall canopy
  • Insulating Heat Sealed Inflatable Floor
  • Painter/Static Line (Length, 130 ft.)
  • CO2 Inflation System
  • Painter/Static Line Attachment Point
    (1700 lbs. test) (6-10 Person Capacity)
  • Righting Strap
  • Lifelines (Inner)
  • Lifelines (Outer)
  • Exterior Locator Light
  • Interior Light
  • Pressure Relief Valves
  • Large Rectangular Ballast Pockets
  • Retro-Reflective Tape
  • Boarding Ladder
  • Boarding Handholds
  • Static Line Weak Link
  • Canopy Support Arches
  • Sealed Buoyancy Chambers
  • Approved Hydrostatic Release
  • Manual Topping Off Valves
  • Double Layer Storm Doors
  • Fiberglass/Fabric Container
  • Pressure Relief Valve Plugs

Life Raft Equipment

  • Sea Anchor(Automatically Deployed)
  • Floating/Heaving Line (Length 100 ft.)
  • Rain Water Collector
  • Floating Knife
  • Waterproof Equipment Bag
  • Raft Use Instructions
  • Individual Thermal Protective Aids (2 ea.)
  • Paddles
  • Manual Inflation/Bilge Pump
  • Repair Clamps (6 ea.)
  • Adhesive & Patch Repair Kit

Additional equipment required to bring life-raft to SOLAS approved standard. SOLAS A is more comprehensive than SAOLA B!

SOLAS “B” EQUIPMENT:   (in addition to all standard equipment described above)

  • Waterproof Flashlight
  • Spare Flashlight Bulb
  • Spare Flashlight “D” Cell Batteries (3 ea.)
  • Sponges (2 ea.)
  • Bailer
  • SOLAS Parachute Distress Signals (2 ea.)
  • SOLAS Red Handheld Distress Signals (2 ea.)
  • SOLAS Smoke Signal
  • Seasick Bags (1 Per Person)
  • Water Storage Bag
  • Thermal Protective Aid
  • Signal Mirror
  • First Aid Kit
  • Signaling Whistle
  • Anti-Seasickness Pills (6 Per Person)
  • Spare Sea Anchor

SOLAS “A” EQUIPMENT:  (in addition to all standard and SOLAS B equipment described above)

  • Graduated Drinking Cup
  • Drinking Water (6-20 Person Capacity – 1½ Liters Per Person)
  • Food Ration (10 Kilo-Joules Per Person)
  • Can Opener
  • Fishing Kit
  • SOLAS Parachute Distress Signals (2 Add’l, 4 total)
  • SOLAS Red Handheld Distress Signals (2 Add’l, 4 total))
  • SOLAS Smoke Signal (1 Add’l, 2 total)
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There has a variety of connection methods between Life Raft Hydrostatic Release Unit and the hull. Here will explain the correctness of various connection methods from the principle of release.

When we test the inflatable life raft for new shipbuilding or It’s annual service, we could always find the connections of HRU, painter line and weak link is wrong. The following is a discussion of hydrostatic release unit connection.

Common HRU like picture A.


The Painter line of each life raft(except the liferafts that are stored at bow or stern in accordance with SOLAS Chapter III, paragraph 31.1.4) should be connect with hull through HRU and weak link. Common connection method of painter line like picture B and C, the main purpose is, if life raft need to be thrown overboard by man,then the painter line is firmly connected with hull through HRU; in case of ship sinking, the painter line is connected with hull through weak link.

The HRU should automatically release life raft when at a depth of not more than 4 meters under water, and it’s designed that the structure should not be disengaged when subjected to waves. When the ship sank, the life raft sank with the ship, reaching a certain depth (no more than 4 meters), the HRU automatically release, at this time the life raft is connected depends on the painter line and weak link with the hull, life raft will float up by it’s own buoyancy,the painter line that connected with hull will release the life raft subjected to the tension, finally the weak link broken under the tension at 1.8KN ~ 2.6KN and disengage the life raft from the when inspection, we should check the connection of HRU carefully, otherwise the life raft could not release at an emergency by wrong connection of HRU.

The picture D and E are right connection of HRU, while F and G are wrong.

In picture D and E, the painter line(green one) is connected with HRU through a shackle,and HRU is connected with hull, but the weak like(red one) is connected with shackle on painter line and hull; when HRU released by pressure of water,The shackle on painter line also disengaged from the HRU, at this time the life raft is connected depends on the painter line and weak link with the hull, when the buoyancy is big enough, the life raft will be automatically inflated, and the weak link also broken by tension, then complete the whole procedure of life raft.

In Picture F and G, when HRU automatically released, weak link broken by buoyancy of life raft, but caused by directly connection between the shackle on painter line and the shackle tied on life raft(blue one)(The shackle one side is tied on life raft and another side is connected with cradle, while cradle is welded with hull), not only connected with weak link, so when weak link broken, the painter line still connected with the shackle that tied on life raft, finally the life raft will sink with ship and not released.

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Golden Bollard 2017


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