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AT SEA AND IN PORT.
41. At sea.-(1) The United States Naval Instructions require that “When at sea, the boats best adapted as lifeboats, one on each side, shall be always ready for lowering.
(2) At the beginning of every watch at sea the officer of the deck shall have the lifeboat crew of the watch mustered abreast the lee boat, and the coxswain of the lifeboat crew of that watch shall satisfy himself by personal inspection that both lifeboats are ready for lowering and shall report the fact to the officer of the deck.
(3) A lifeboat is secured for sea, i. e., ready for lowering, when in the following condition: Boat at the davits, griped in, falls clear, detaching apparatus ready for detaching at the word, steering oar shipped in crutch, oars fitted with trailing lines and ready for getting out quickly, rowlocks shipped and fitted with lanyards, plug in, sea painter halfhitched around thwart, life lines bent to span, life jackets in boat, lantern filled and trimmed (and' at night lighted), and all other articles of the boat equipment in the boat and ready for use, with two days' water and provisions for the crew. When the coxswain of the lifeboat crew of the watch reports a lifehoat ready for lowering, it is understood that the boat is in the above condition and that the crew of the watch have been mustered, each man abreast his own thwart (or station) of the lee boat and that each man understands his duties at Man overboard." In lowering, the officer or coxswain in charge of the lifeboat will give command for detaching.
42. In port.—(1) The United States Naval Instructions require, that 'In port one or both lifeboats shall be kept ready for immediate use from sunset until colors the next morning.” Hence when there is no suitable boat in the water ready for immediate use as a lifeboat, at least one boat suitable for this purpose must be kept ready for
instant lowering. This is particularly necesary when the boats which are in the water are heavy and unwieldly or are so secured that they could not be quickly used in an emergency or in rough weather or in a strong tideway.
(2) Owing to its handiness, a dinghy is well suited for use as a lifeboat in port in good weather, and under such conditions it may be designated as the lifeboat for port service. The boats designated for use as lifeboats in port are required to carry only the usual equipment for boats in port, but the gear must be in order and ready for instant use, and the lantern must be ready in the boat for lighting, or else a lighted lantern ready for use must be kept at hand on deck.
NOTES ON LIFEBOATS. 43. (1) Lifeboats should be griped securely against their strong: backs, with chafing pads between the boat and the strongbacks, and the gripes, secured by toggle or pelican hook, ready for instant freeing
(2) If gripes stretch and become slack, they should be set up taut.
(3) At night, boat falls should be coiled down on deck, clear for running; during the day the coils may be triced up to davit with becket and toggle.
(4) Where Raymond automatic releasing hooks are fitted falls should be rove continuous between davit heads.
(5) The sea painter is led from a point well forward on the ship, outside of everything, and secured to the inboard side of the forward thwart in such a manner that it can be readily cast off; if necessary, it is stopped up out of the water by a rope yarn.
(6) The knotted life lines, one for each member of the crew, hang from the span for the use of the crew in case of accident in lowering or hoisting
(7) The life jackets should be placed, one under each thwart and one under the stern sheets, and each man in the lifeboat shall put one on before the boat is lowered. This is necessary because of the danger of the boat swamping alongside in rough weather.
(8) If the lantern is not provided with a shutter, it shall be fitted with a canvas screen, and when lighted and not in use shall be put in the boat bucket.
(9) Lifeboat crews for each watch are designated on the ship's station bill. When a lifeboat crew is mustered, the men shall muster in line abreast their boat (or the lee boat) in the order of their thwarts, facing inboard; men stationed to lower will be abreast their respective davits, and shall personally see that the falls are clear.
(10) The proper members of the crew shall be permanently stationed for unhooking the falls, tending the sea painter, and for performing other duties in connection with lowering. The lifeboat crew of the watch, including the men stationed for lowering, for observing the man, for signaling, etc., are not to leave the weather deck without permission, except for meals.
(11) At night the lifeboat crew of the watch, and other men stationed in connection therewith, shall remain near their stations. LOWERING A LIFEBOAC (OR OTHER BOAT) AT SEA IN BAD
WEATHER (WITH WIND AND SEA FORWARD OF THE BEAM).
44. (1) At the call “Man overboard” (which may be given by word of mouth or sounded on the bugle) every member of the lifeboat crew of the watch goes to his station on the run. The lee lifeboat should be manned. If there is any doubt about which boat is to be lowered, the officer of the deck immediately indicates it by the command “Clear away the starboard (or port) lifeboat.”
(2) The men take their seats on the thwarts; each man immediately puts on a life jacket, gets his oar ready, and then, not otherwise engaged, seizes a life line as a safety precaution in case of accident.
(3) If there is not a good lee the officer of the deck shall make one by altering the course of the ship. It is customary to bring the sea a little on the bow, but in this position the lee for the boat is far from perfect, as the ship will roll and pitch considerably, and the waves wash along the lee side. Some seamen prefer to bring the sea on the quarter rather than on the bow, while others advise lying in the trough of the sea, notwithstanding the heavy rolling. The best position will doubtless depend upon the build and trim of the ship, and the nature of the sea. (If in formation, the ship shall be handled as directed in the Signal Manual, 1920.)
(4) Oil should be used in any case, both ahead and astern of the boat.
(5) The ship should be kept moving slowly ahead. A sea painter, from well forward, should be brought into the boat through the inboard bow rowlock, and a turn taken around the inboard end of the forward thwart.
(6) To keep the boat from swinging, frapping lines may be passed around the falls, the ends leading inboard, to hold the boat close in to the side as it is lowered. In some ships, jackstays with traveling lizards are fitted from the davit heads to the side of the ship. A turn of the lizard is taken under a thwart, or around the standing part of the fall, and the boat is held near the side, as by the frapping lines above described. Under no circumstances should the lizard be secured at the boat so that it could jam; the end must be held in the hand.
(7) The great danger, both in lowering and immediately afterwards, is that the boat will be dashed against the ship's side. A sea painter brought in on the inner bow of the boat, as already described, helps to sheer her off as she strikes the water. The coxswain sheers the bow out by throwing the stern in with the steering oar as the boat strikes the water.
(8) The after fall is always unhooked first.
(9) Under no circumstances, short of the most imperative necessity, should a boat be lowered while the ship has sternway, and it is always desirable to have a little headway. There is much difference of opinion as to the speed at which it is safe to lower a boat-an important question in picking up a man overboard. Some officers having seen boats lowered without accidents at speeds as high as 8 and 10 knots maintain that it is perfectly safe to lower at this speed. A more conservative view fixes the maximum at something like half this speed. It is safe to say that there is far less danger at 5 knots than 10, and most practical men would prefer to wait a little longer rather than to take the chance of having to deal with a whole boat crew in the water.
(10) When all is ready the officer of the deck, or the officer in charge of the lowering, commands “Lower away together.” The bow and stroke oars tend the falls to keep them clear and to keep the blocks from striking other members of the crew when let go. In case the tumbler hook is used these men grasp the tumbler lanyard, and as soon as the boat is water borne unhook the fall, in case it is not unhooked automatically. Should the boat not be supplied with detaching apparatus, these men unhook the boat falls--the after fall first-as soon as possible after the boat touches the water. Men in the waist thwarts hold the boat off, if the ship is rolling. The second bowman tends the sea painter, which is hauled taut and brought in through the inboard bow rowlock before lowering. He takes a turn with the painter around the thwart, holding the end in his hand; it should never be made fast.
(11) In lowering a boat the falls must invariably be lowered together, and in rough weather smart lowering may be required,
(12) If the boat is held in by lizards traveling on jackstays, or by frapping-lines around the falls, some of the men in the waist should breast the boat off the ship's side with the boat hooks, being careful to hold the butt end above the outer gunwale to avoid danger of the boat being driven against it and its staving a hole in the planking:
(13) It is well to have an ax or hatchet handy in case anything should jam at a critical time.
(14) When the boat is a short distance from the water the officer of the boat, or in his absence the coxswain, lets go the detaching apparatus, or gives the command “Let go.” If the boat is not fitted with detaching apparatus, as soon as boat is water borne, the boat officer or coxswain commands "Let go the after fall," then, "Let go the forward fall." The coxswain gives the boat a sheer out. The greatest danger occurs at this instant, as there is always a' danger of the boat being dashed against the ship's side. For that reason the coxswain should give the stern a sheer in, to get the bow out. The strain on the sea painter assists to sheer the bow out. When clear of the ship's side, the officer or coxswain directs the second bowman to cast off the sea painter; thwartmen get out their oars as soon as possible, and the boat makes the best of her way to the rescue. HOISTING A LIFEBOAT (OR OTHER BOAT) IN A SEAWAY.
45. (1) The same general principles of seamanship apply as in lowering: It is preferable for a ship to have a little headway on in case she is under way. The important point is to keep the boat off the ship's side to prevent its being injured.
(2) The boat comes alongside, a lee having been made for her, ana in case of a heavy sea oil should be used freely. Oars are boated, before getting alongside, as soon as possible after receiving the sea painter, which should always be hove to her.
(3) The bowman seizes the sea painter and takes a turn around the forward thwart. The boat should then be hauled under the davits by manning the sea painter on deck.
(4) Tend the ship carefully to retain a lee.
(5) Frapping lines, traveling lizards, etc., will, if necessary, be used as in lowering. Similarly, thwartmen will, by the use of boat hooks, keep the boat from swinging against the ship's side.
(6) If the ship has considerable way on, a line should be led from the stern of the boat to a point well aft on the ship, to prevent the boat from lurching forward when she leaves the water.