The following technical alert has been issued today by classification society Lloyd's Register
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has identified serious manufacturing defects in hydrostatic release units (HRU) manufactured by Song Zhu in Dalian, People's Republic of China, and found on board a ship visiting US waters. The HRU's labelled 'Song Zhu Dalian P.R.C.', model HR-R, have not been approved by Lloyd's Register.
During recent routine maintenance in the U.S., the HRU's on board were returned to a lifesaving equipment service facility, for replacement due to damaged parts. Subsequent detailed examination and testing of the HRU's by the USCG revealed excessive deterioration of the painter slicing blade, rendering it ineffectual when activated. The units were less than one year old and according to their marking, had half of their service life remaining.
Detailed pictures of the HRU's taken by the USCG during its investigation, can be found at the following address on its website: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g%2Dm/cfvs/alerts.htm
Surveyors, owners and operators are requested to check the type of HRU's on board, ensuring that if the above make and model is fitted, they are replaced with approved HRU's. The manufacturer of the defective HRU's is stated to no longer be in business. Quantities made and areas where they may have been distributed, are unknown.