IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A MARINE LIFE RAFT MANUFACTURED BY SWITLIK PARACHUTE COMPANY, IT MAY HAVE A POTENTIAL PROBLEM WITH THE INFLATION SYSTEM. THIS IS NOT OBVIOUS AND COULD CAUSE FALSE RELIANCE ON A LIFE RAFT THAT, IF NEEDED, MAY NOT INFLATE AND FUNCTION AS A LIFE SAVING DEVICE.
Sub: SAFETY ALERT and RECALL
Ref: Service Information Bulletin No. SIB-08144
We have had reports recently from two Life Raft Service Stations of Switlik Life Raft inflation valves failing to operate properly and discharge the gas from the CO2 cylinder into the life raft. These malfunctions occurred during performance of annual service and standard 5-year operational and inflation testing.
Inspection of these valves indicated clear signs of changes in the consistency of the lubricant and a degradation of the piston O-ring material. This resulted in the O-rings adhering to the pistons and valve bodies, causing the inflation valves to malfunction.
We are implementing a corrective action that mandates replacement of the inflation valve with a valve that does not utilize this O-ring material and lubricant combination. While the instances and percentages of improper inflation system operation are relatively small, this issue directly affects whether or not a life raft will properly inflate in case of an emergency. We feel that this valve replacement should occur at your earliest practical opportunity.
To facilitate the inflation valve Service Bulletin in the safest and most expeditious manner for you, we will be replacing, at no charge to you, the existing S-2630 inflation valve/s on your life raft. (You are responsible for complying with any normal recommended service procedures and transportation of the Life Raft to and from the service facility.)
YOUR SAFETY is of the utmost importance to us! Please contact Switlik Parachute Company at (609) 587-3300 or go to our web site, (www.switlik.com), for a listing of our Service Stations to schedule the servicing of your life raft and replacement of the inflation valve.
We regret this occurrence and the inconvenience it causes you. Although the probability that your life raft will not work as designed is small, we are addressing this issue by erring on the side of safety.
We thank you for your patience while we work to make your time on the water safer.
Monday, June 9, 2008