Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), 3rd session, 14-18 March 2016

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

Draft 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 Sub Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE), meeting for its 3rd session.

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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 liferafts.

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.

Fire integrity of the windows on passenger ship – draft SOLAS amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II 2/9.4.1.3 to clarify the requirements for fire integrity of windows on passenger ships carrying not more than 36 passengers and on special purpose ships with more than 60 (but no more than 240) persons on board. The draft amendments will be submitted to MSC 97 for approval.

Revisions to Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for fire safety agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the Guidelines on alternative design and arrangements for fire safety (MSC/Circ.1002), particularly a new appendix providing the Guidelines for the selection of life safety performance criteria, for submission to MSC 97 for approval.

The guidelines are intended to support the implementation of SOLAS regulation II-2/17 Alternative design and arrangements which provides a methodology for evaluating fire safety design and arrangements deviating from prescriptive requirements with an equivalent level of safety.

Exemption of small high-speed craft from carrying a rescue boat – draft amendments agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft amendments to the 1994 and 2000 HSC Codes to allow for high-speed craft of less than 30 m (2000 HSC Code) and 20 m (1994 HSC Code) to be exempted from carrying a rescue boat, provided minimum requirements for carrying survival craft are met and provided a person can be rescued from the water in a horizontal or near horizontal body position.

The draft amendments will be submitted to MSC 97 for approval and subsequent adoption.

Draft functional requirements of SOLAS chapter III developed
The Sub-Committee continued its work in developing goals and functional requirements of SOLAs chapter III. The first draft functional requirements of SOLAS chapter III were prepared. The Sub-Committee agreed a work plan, including developing the expected performance for each functional requirements.

Progress made on measures for onboard lifting appliances and winches
The Sub-Committee prepared the preliminary set of draft goals for the safety of onboard lifting appliances and winches.

A correspondence group was established to further develop draft goals and functional requirements suitable for onboard lifting appliances and winches; the list of the available industry codes and/or standards that could be contained in a footnote or the draft guidelines; and draft guidelines supporting the goals and functional requirements, if necessary, to cover the design, fabrication and construction for new installations, onboard procedures for routine inspection, maintenance and operation of onboard lifting appliances and winches, and familiarization of ship’s crew and shore-based personnel.

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