In this arrangement, the lifeboat is held on a davit mounted in the aft of the vessel. It is kept in a ready to launch condition. Once the releasing mechanism is operated, the boat dives in to the sea and resurfaces at a safe distance from the ship. In a real situation, this will be done with all people seated and belted to their seats. It’s like a rollercoaster running down the slope, but Life Boat launching except for the moments like this is not a fun. It is launched in the case of extreme distress. That’s to say, a do or die moment on the ship, when your ship can’t assure the safety and shelter in vast expanse of the ocean where it serves as your lagoon till such a moment of despair. The situation can arise in minutes, when the ship collides with another or is wrecked by the storm or is engulfed by fire that threatens to consume it.
After launching of the lifeboat, the next test that is carried out is of Rescue Boat. Rescue Boat is another launchable boat provided onboard the vessels. It is meant to rescue the people who may accidently fall off the ship or it can be used to help some marooned people of some other nearby vessel in distress. Launching it too involves great many risks. It is lowered in water with men onboard who after the boat touches the water, pull the lever to release it from the hook of the winch that lowers it. Accidents can happen. During one such launch, when one person on board pulled hard at the release lever, he lost his balance and fell overboard. He was retrieved two miles downstream from where he had got carried away in five minutes or so of his fall.
All the people who get in to the life boat have their life jackets on them, so they may not drown but the strong currents can carry them away in seconds, literally like rag dolls. If a person falls in the river, his location with respect to the landmark positions of reference on the banks can still be known but in the vast ocean, there are no relative positions to judge where he fell. The calmness on the surface of the sea is frightfully deceptive and one gets the feel of it only when one gets down in a boat.