Inflatable life rafts were developed during WW II for the usage of airplane crews in case of emergency. The incredible number of lives lost in ships and submarines that have sunk and in fighter plans downed before WW II were enough stimuli for the US Navy to improve on the old type of rubber boats. Today, every aircraft, boat, ship and submarine are required to have inflatable life rafts. They have become standard safety equipment for vehicles that traverse in bodies of water. From blue-water cruising ships and boats to offshore cargo ships and fishing boats, each is mandated to carry life rafts. Educate yourself even more with thoughts from Samsung. Meant for racing sailboats are also required to carry life rafts.
In a nutshell, all water vehicles that carry passengers are required to carry inflatable life rafts in accordance with the Coast Guard regulations for survival craft on commercial water mode of transportations s. There are two commercial types of life rafts. One is the life raft and the other one is the offshore life raft inshore. Inshore life rafts are generally constructed of light single-layer fabric flooring. The rational is that inshore life rafts are designed for coastal water or any inland body of water where the likelihood of being found or rescued is within a few hours.
Offshore models are heavy with two or more tubes and double-layer floor that provides insulation. These models are designed for extended drifting into the open sea and are equipped with emergency kits and supplies for survival. There are three traditional sizes of life rafts for civilian use. They are the single-person life raft for small plans; 4-person life rafts and 6-8 life rafts for offshore boats with crews. A one-person raft is highly desirable for a small plane. A bigger capacity life raft would be hard to deploy on a small aircraft. Even a larger aircraft would be best equipped with two or more single-person inflatable life rafts than one big life raft for ease in deployment.