This is one of the life floats I saw during our visit to USS Lexington museum. (Corpus Christi, Texas)
"The life craft aboard a ship may consist of any or all of the following types: balsa wood floats, floater nets, and rubber CO2 inflated boats.
There are two wood floats, elliptical and rectangular. The elliptical type, though still aboard older vessels (1950), are being replace by the rectangular float seen here. The function of the float is to provide a support for survivors and their equipment. Paddles are provided to assist in getting away from the side. The abandon ship equipment and rations are lashed to the latticed platform in such a way that the lanyards are accessible from either side, making the float reversible. If the float lands in the water with the equipment on the underside, the lanyards can be unlashed and the equipment hauled around. On Lexington's main deck (HANGER DECK) is the equipment found inside the modern "PODS" which you can see attached to the gun tubs on the starboard side of the ship.
These tow particular life craft were props used in the filming of the movie Pearl Harbor on board Lexington."