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Assuring the supply of daily drinking water for deep ocean passages


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What is the issue?
One of the worst deep ocean fears is to run out of drinking water. Should the vessels main water tank become lost or contaminated, or the crew have to enter the life raft, providing an adequate amount of drinking water to sustain life can be challenging.

Why address this?
Humans can only survive for a short amount of time with out drinking water and it is an unthinkably painful affliction.

How to address this?
Invest in a manual, hand-operated desalinator for the vessel’s emergency grab bag - see figure 1 for our vessels grab-bag desalinator.

Although expensive, a hand-operated desalinator is a broadly accepted piece of equipment to support the life raft and individual survival kit. Compact and lightweight, a hand-operated desalinator produces emergency fresh water directly from salt water. This is achieved by pressurising and injecting the salt water through a reverse osmosis membrane to remove its dissolved salts.

We thankfully never had to physically use our emergency desalinator. Yet it was the only safety device that provided a daily useful function each day we sailed without ever operating it. Without an emergency desalinator, fresh water is finite. This causes a tendency to carry excessive amounts of emergency water aboard a vessel during long passages just in case of an unthinkable accident. These cans of water are heavy and consume large amounts of valuable space.

By having a manual desalinator aboard, the tendency to store excessive amounts of fresh water is removed. Hence it is a safety device that provides insurance in an emergency and it frees up space every day aboard the vessel.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.



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