Historical information

Item acquired from Lakes Entrance boat builder/owner who sold it to the PFHLS in 2008. Oil bags were part of the lifeboat equipment. Only one other example known is at the Port Albert Maritime Museum


The oil bag was used to put oil on the sea's surface, to inhibit spray, wave burst and fear for survivors transferring from the shipwreck to the lifeboat. This was essential, as the lifeboat would never come close to the wreck, to avoid the risk of being damaged itself. The item is rare, and a vital part of the lifeboat's rescue equipment. The technique probably generated the phrase "pour oil on troubled waters"

Physical description

textile (flax) bag, shaped like a tennis racquet cover, with a brass tube attached to bag. The tube has a series of very small circular holes (in lines) arranged along the length of the tube. These were to allow the light oil contained within the bag to be sucked from the bag by a venturi action. The bag has a light line attached to it to secure to the lifeboat when in use (by casting the bag into the sea).. no markings

Inscriptions & markings

no markings