Faulty Liferaft Servicing

Boaters forced to abandon ship could find a potentially deadly surprise awaiting them – an inoperable liferaft. The U.S. Coast Guard has recently received several reports of improperly serviced inflatable liferafts last inspected by two facilities operating under the name “AMPAK” in Baton Rouge, LA, and Panama City, FL. In at least one case the liferaft gas cylinder was empty (meaning it would not have inflated when deployed), while others were marked as having been subjected to required tests that were not conducted.

As the two facilities were not Coast Guard approved and have since closed, it’s unknown just how many liferafts are affected. The Coast Guard strongly recommends any inflatable liferafts last serviced by AMPAK facilities in Baton Rouge or Panama City be taken to a Coast Guard approved servicing facility as soon as possible. Questions or comments can be addressed to Mr. Kurt Heinz of the Coast Guards Lifesaving and Fire Safety Standards Division at (202) 267-1444