Mandatory requirements on periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats agreed

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25660547102_fd6e597135_zDraft mandatory requirements relating to maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear were agreed by the IMO’s Sub Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), meeting for its 3rd session.

The work to finalise the requirements is part of long-standing work to address the safety of lifeboats and rescue boats, particularly during testing.

The requirements aim to provide for a uniform, safe and documented standard for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats (including free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats and fast rescue boats; and of launching appliances and on-load and off load release gear for lifeboats (including primary and secondary means of launching appliances for free-fall lifeboats), rescue boats, fast rescue boats and davit launched life-rafts.

The Sub-Committee agreed the draft amendments to SOLAS chapter III Regulation 20 – Operational readiness, maintenance and inspections to make mandatory the Requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear, which were finalised during the session.

The draft texts will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 96) for consideration with a view to adoption.

The draft SOLAS amendments and the draft mandatory Requirements had previously been approved in principle by MSC 92, but were referred back to the Sub-Committee for further refinement.

 

The draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/20 introduce requirements for the maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear to be carried out in accordance with the new mandatory Requirements.

 

Administrations will be required to ensure that the thorough examination, operational testing, repair, and overhaul of equipment are carried out in accordance with SOLAS regulation III/20 by the manufacturer or authorized service providers who are qualified in these operations for each make and type of equipment for which they provide the service.

 

The Sub-Committee invited submissions to the next session in relation to the ongoing review of the Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats and Guidelines for simulated launching of free-fall lifeboats, currently included in annex 2 of the annex to circular MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 (2009) on Measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats.

 

The draft SOLAS amendments and proposed mandatory Requirements will effectively make annex 1 of the annex to circular MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 mandatory. The guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills and simulated launching are intended to remain as recommendatory guidance.

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