Statutory Alert: Periodic servicing of free-fall lifeboat release systems – amendment to SOLAS regulation III/188.8.131.52.
Applicability: Ships which have a free-fall lifeboat fitted. Lifeboats should be tested regularly to ensure they operate when needed and that crews know how to operate them. For testing of free-fall lifeboats a physical launch is not always appropriate, and there is an element of risk to crews. An amendment* to SOLAS chapter III, regulation 184.108.40.206 which will enter into force on 1 January, 2014, will permit operational testing of free-fall lifeboats to be performed either by free-fall launch, with only the operating crew on board, or by a simulated launch in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1.
The IMO has issued circular MSC.1/Circ.1411 to encourage all parties concerned to implement the amendment at the earliest opportunity. In the interests of safety, shipowners and managers with responsibility for ships which have free-fall lifeboats are encouraged to take note of the circular and act accordingly. *The amendment was adopted at the recent 90th meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee under resolution MSC.325(90).
For further information, contact your local Lloyd’s Register Group office