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MODULE 2G-Safety Equipment

GENERAL

LIFE–SAVING APPLIANCES AND ARRANGEMENTS

Chapter III of the SOLAS Convention includes requirements for life-saving appliances and arrangements, including requirements for lifeboats, rescue boats, and life jackets according to the type of ship.

The International Life–Saving Appliances (LSA) Code gives specific technical requirements for LSAs and is mandatory under Regulation 34, which states that all life-saving appliances and arrangements shall comply with the applicable requirements of the LSA Code.

Prevention of accidents involving lifeboats

The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC at its 81st) session approved for subsequent adoption of a proposed draft amendment to SOLAS regulation III/19.3.3.4 concerning provisions for the launch of free-fall lifeboats during abandon-ship drills. The amendment will allow, during the abandon–ship drill, for the lifeboat to either be free-fall launched with only the required operating crew on board or lowered into the water by means of the secondary means of launching without the operating crew on board and then maneuvered in the water by the operating crew.

The aim is to prevent accidents with lifeboats occurring during abandon-ship drills. Meanwhile, the MSC agreed on an MSC circular on the Early implementation of draft SOLAS regulation III/19.3.3.4; an MSC circular on Guidelines for developing operational and maintenance manuals for lifeboat systems, and an MSC circular on Measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats consolidating previous circulars MSC/ Circ.1049, MSC Circ. 1093, MSC Circ 1136 and MSC/ Circ 1137. The consolidated circular includes the Guidelines for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances, and on-load release gear; Guidelines on safety during abandon-ship drills using lifeboats; and Guidelines for simulated launching of free-fall lifeboats.

THE NEW CHAPTER III

In 1996, IMO adopted another completely revised version of Chapter III of SOLAS, taking into account changes in technology since the chapter was last revised in 1983.

The new chapter entered into force on 1 July 1988 and applies to all ships built on or after that date, although some of the amendments also apply to existing ships. Specific technical requirements are contained in a new International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) under Regulation 34, which states that all life-saving appliances and arrangements shall comply with the applicable requirement of the LSA Code.

The text of the new Chapter takes into account technological changes, such as the development of marine evacuation systems: These systems involve the use of sliders, similar to those installed on aircraft.

The amendments also reflect public concern over safety issues, raised by a series of major accidents in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the passenger ship regulations have been made applicable to existing ships and extra regulations have been introduced specifically for ro-ro passenger ships.

They must, for example, be equipped with fast rescue boats and must be equipped with means for recovering survivors from the water and rescue units. They must also be equipped with a helicopter pick–up area while passenger ships of 130m in length and over, built after 1 July 1999, must be fitted with a helicopter landing area.

Counting passengers

The new Chapter says that all passengers on passenger ships “shall be counted prior to departure” and that not later than 1 January 1999” the names and gender of all persons on board, distinguishing between adults, children and infants shall be recorded for search and rescue purposes”.

The revised chapter also puts considerable emphasis on the abilities of officers and crews. These are requirements for training manuals and onboard training aids, instructions for onboard maintenance, and passenger ships will be required to carry decision support systems on the bridge for the use of masters. This describes what action should be a tanker in the event of various emergencies.

The new chapter is reinforced by the use of footnotes that refer to other measures adopted by IMO, including codes of practice, recommendations and performance standards.

Communications

An important emphasis is also placed on communications- between the crew, and between crew and passengers.

Summary of SOLAS CHAPTER III
(Life–saving appliances and arrangements)
Entry into force: 1 July 1998

GENERAL

Regulation 1– Application: The chapter applies to ships built on or after 1 July 1998. Ships constructed before that date should comply with the chapter in force prior to 1 July 1998, but when life-saving appliances or arrangements on existing ships are replaced or repaired they should, as far as is reasonable and practicable, comply with the new requirements.

Regulation 2- Exemptions: Allows the Administration to exempt ships from specific requirements where those ships do not proceed more than 20 miles from land or when ships are involved in special trades for the carriage numbers of special trade passengers ( in which case the ships must comply with the Special Trade Passenger Ships Agreement 1971).

Regulation 3- Definitions: Gives definitions of terms used in the chapter.

Regulation 4– Evaluation, testing, and approval of life-saving appliances and arrangements: Life-saving appliances and arrangement must be approved by the Administration and must comply with the requirement of the LSA Code.

Regulation 5 – Production Tests: Life–saving appliances must be subjected to production tests to ensure they are manufactured to the same standards as the prototypes.

REQUIREMENT FOR SHIPS AND LIFE-SAVING APPLIANCES
Passenger Ships and Cargo Ships

Regulation 6 – Communications: Gives requirements for the carriage of VHF radiotelephones, radar transponders, and distress flares. A general emergency alarm system (which complies with the requirements in the LSA Code) must be provided for summoning crew and passengers to muster stations. All passenger ships must be fitted with a public address system.

Regulation 7 – Personal life-saving appliances: This covers the requirements for lifebuoys, lifejackets and immersion suits, and anti-exposure suits. Life jackets must be provided for every person on board the ship, plus additional life jackets should be provided for children and for persons on watch and at remotely located survival craft stations.

Regulation 8 – Muster list and emergency instructions: On all ships, clear instructions to be followed in an emergency must be provided to everyone on board and muster lists and emergency instructions must be exhibited in conspicuous places throughout the ship. In passenger ships, the instructions should be drawn up in the language or languages required by the flag State and in the English language. Illustrations and
instructions in “appropriate languages” must be posted in passenger cabins and be conspicuously displayed at muster stations and other passenger spaces, to inform passengers of their muster stations, the essential actions they must take in an emergency, and the method of donning lifejackets.

Regulation 9– Operating instructions: Posters and signs must be provided near to survival craft and launching station. They must:

  • Illustrate controls and operation of the appliances
  • Be easily seen under emergency lighting conditions
  • Use symbols recommended by IMO.

Regulation 10 – Manning of survival craft and supervision: Requires a sufficient number of trained persons on board for mustering and assisting entrained persons, gives requirements for manning of survival craft.

Regulation 11– Survival craft muster and embarkation arrangements: Gives requirements for the location of lifeboats, life rafts, and muster stations, requirements for lighting of alleyways, stairways, and exits.

Regulation 12– Launching stations: launching stations should be located to provide safe launching of survival craft.

Regulation 13– Stowage of survival craft: Gives requirements for where and how survival raft should be kept on board ship. Survival craft should be stowed” in a state of continuous readiness so that two crew members can carry out preparations for embarkation and launching in less than 5 minutes”.

Regulation 14– Stowage of rescue boats: Gives requirement for stowage of rescue boats, which must be kept in a state of continuous readiness for launching in not more than 5 minutes.

Regulation 15– Stowage of marine evacuation systems: Gives requirements for the location of marine evacuation systems, which should be positioned to ensure safe launching “having particular regard to clearance from the propeller and steeply overhanging positions of the hull”.

Regulation 16– Survival craft launching and recovery arrangements: Gives requirements for provisions for launching and recovery of survival craft. Survival craft must be fitted with launching and embarkation appliances that comply with the requirements in the LSA Code, with certain exceptions, such as survival craft carried in excess of survival craft for 200 % of the total number of persons on board a ship.

Regulation 17 – Rescue boat embarkation, launching, and recovery arrangements: The rescue boat should be able to be boarded and launched in the shortest possible time.

All rescue boats should be capable of being launched with the ship making headway at speeds up to 5 knots in calm water.

Regulation 18 – Line-throwing appliances: line-throwing appliances complying with the LSA code must be provided.

Regulation 19 – Emergency training and drills: gives requirements and procedures for carrying out emergency drills (including abandon ship drills, dire drills) and training for all crew. Whenever new passengers embark, a passenger safety briefing must be made immediately before or after sailing.

Regulation 20 – Operational readiness, maintenance, and inspections: Requires that all life-saving be in working order and ready for use before the ship leaves port and at all times during the voyage. Gives details of which life-saving appliances require weekly and monthly tests and inspections.

PASSENGER SHIPS (Additional Requirements)

Regulation 21 – Survival craft and rescue boast: Passenger ships on international voyages which are not short must carry partially or totally enclosed lifeboats on each side to accommodate not less than 50% of the total number of persons on board (in other words, the two sides together must equal at least 100%). Some lifeboats can be substituted by life rafts. In addition, inflatable or rigid life rafts are to accommodate at least 25% of the total number of persons on board.

Passenger ships on short international voyages must carry partially enclosed lifeboats for at least 30% of persons on board, plus inflatable or rigid life rafts to make a total capacity of 100% with the lifeboats. In addition, they must carry inflatable or rigid life rafts for 25% of the total number of persons on board.

All survival craft required to provide for abandonment by the total number of persons on board must be capable of being launched with their full complement of persons and equipment within a period of 30 minutes from the time the abandon ship signal is given.

Regulation 22 – Personal life-saving appliances: Gives requirements for a number of lifebuoys, immersion and thermal suits, and extra lifejackets that passenger ships must carry. Each lifejacket must be fitted with a light.

Regulation 23 – Survival craft and rescue boat embarkation arrangements: Gives requirements for embarkation arrangements.

Regulation 24 – Stowage of survival craft: Gives stowage requirements.

Regulation 25 – Muster stations: Muster stations must be in the vicinity of, and allow easy access to, embarkation stations and must have ample room, at least 0.35 m2 per passenger.

Regulation 26 – Additional requirements for ro-ro passenger ships: includes a requirement for ro-ro passenger ships’ liferafts to be served by either marine evacuation systems or launching appliances compliant with the LSA code. At least one of the rescue boats must be a fast rescue boat. Ro-ro passenger ships must be equipped with efficient means for rapidly recovering survivors from the water and transferring them from rescue units or survival craft to the ship. A sufficient number of lifejackets must be stored in the vicinity of the muster station so passengers do not have to return to their cabins for lifejackets.

For existing ships, the lifejacket requirements must be complied with not later than the first periodical survey after 1 July 1998. All other requirements must be complied with by the first periodical survey after 1 July 2000.

Regulation 27 – Information on passengers: all persons on board all passenger ships must be counted before departure, with details of persons with needs for special care or assistance communicated to the master. Details must also be kept ashore. By 1 January 1999, names and gender of all persons, distinguishing between adults, children and infants should be recorded for search and rescue purposes (Administrations may exempt passenger ships from this requirement if the scheduled voyages of the ship make it impracticable to comply).

Regulation 28 – Helicopter landing and pick-up areas: All ro-ro passenger ships must be fitted with a helicopter pick-up area. All passenger ships 130m in length and over constructed after 1 July 1999 must be fitted with a helicopter landing area. Refer to MSC/ Circ.895, Recommendation on a helicopter on helicopter landing areas on ro-ro passenger ships, and to MSC/ Circ.907, Application of SOLAS regulation III/ 28.2 concerning helicopter landing areas on non-ro-ro passenger ships.

Regulation 29 – A decision support system for the master of passenger ships: In all passenger ships, a decision support system for emergency management must be provided on the navigation bridge. This should consist of, as a minimum, printed emergency plan or plans covering all foreseeable emergency situations, including fire, damage to ship pollution, unlawful acts threatening the safety of the ship and security of passengers and crew, personnel accidents, cargo-related accidents, and emergency assistance to other ships. Passenger ships constructed before 1 July 1997 must comply no later than the first periodical survey after 1 July 1999. Refer to the Guidelines for a structure of an integrated system of contingency planning for shipboard emergencies adopted by the organization by resolution A.852 (20).

Regulation 30-drills: On all passenger ships, an abandon ship drill and fire drill must take place weekly.

CARGO SHIPS (ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS)

Regulation 31 – Survival craft and rescue boats: Gives requirements for the carriage of survival craft for cargo ships. Lifeboats carried must accommodate all persons on board; additional liferafts must also be carried. Chemical tankers and gas carriers carrying cargo emitting toxic vapors or gases must carry lifeboats with a self-contained air support system that complies with section 4.8 of the LSA code. Refer to the products for which emergency escape respiratory protection is required in chapter 17 of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemical in Bulk (IBC Code), adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee by resolution MSC.4(48), as amended, and in chapter 19 of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee by resolution MSC.5(48), as amended.

Oil tankers, chemicals takers, and gas carriers carrying cargoes with a flashpoint not exceeding 60ºC must carry fire-protected lifeboats that comply with section 4.9 of the LSA code.

It also specifies that cargo ships shall carry at least one rescue boat which complies with section 5.1 of the LSA code. A lifeboat may be accepted as a rescue boat, provided that it also complies with the requirements for a rescue boat. But ships constructed before 1 July 1986 shall carry, besides the lifeboats, one or more liferafts capable of being launched on either side of the ship and that will accommodate the total number of persons on board. Those liferafts shall be equipped with lashing or equivalent means of securing that permit their automatic release from a sinking ship.

Finally, when the horizontal distance from the extreme end of the stem or stern of the ship to the nearest end of the closet survival craft is more than 100m, in addition to the liferafts stated above, a liferaft (it must permit the manual release of it) must be stowed as far forward, or one as far forward and another as far aft, to such an extent where it is reasonable and practicable.

Regulation 32 – Personal life-saving appliances: Gives requirements for the carriage of lifebuoys, lifejackets, lifejacket lights, immersion suits, and thermal suits aboard cargo ships.

Regulation 33– survival craft embarkation and arrangements: gives requirements for cargo ships’ survival craft embarkation and launching arrangements.

Life-saving appliances and arrangement requirements

Regulation 34 – States that all life-saving appliances and arrangements shall comply with the applicable requirements of the LSA Code.

Miscellaneous

Regulation 35 – Training manual and onboard training aids: On all ships, a training manual must be provided in each crew mess room and recreation room or in each crew cabin. The training manual must contain instructions and information in easily understood terms, illustrated wherever possible, on the life-saving appliances provided on the ship and the best methods of survival. The regulation lists the elements which must be explained in detail.

Regulation 36 – Instructions for on-board maintenance: Instructions for on-board maintenance of life-saving appliances should be easily understood and illustrated wherever possible, and include specific details for each appliance, such as a schedule of periodic maintenance and repair instructions.

Regulation 37 – Muster list and emergency instruction: Details what the muster list should include. The muster list should: specify details of the general alarm and public address system, show the duties assigned to each member of the crew, such as the closing of watertight doors, and the muster of passengers, and specify which officers are assigned to ensure life-saving and fire appliances are maintained and ready for use, the muster list must be prepared before the ship proceeds to sea.

The range of free-fall lifeboats can be supplied in a dry cargo version or tanker version. They are equipped with Buck engines, made in Denmark. Delivered to the latest SOLAS regulations and with EC certificates.

The rescue boat has a motor propelled, designed to be launched by davit. It has excellent reliability, maneuverability, and sea-keeping abilities in order to fulfill its prime function-to provided an effective means of recovery for persons in the water and collecting life-craft. If has the self-righting ability and manually operates righting ability. The design and manufacturing comply with the requirements of Amendment 1996 to SOLAS and the regulation of the LSA code.

Inflatable Life Rafts

While all inflatable life rafts are designed to keep survivors out of the water while they await rescue, there are three basic types of life rafts; coastal, off-shore, and ocean-going, each with its own specifications and purposes.

Coastal inflatable life rafts are designed to be used by vessels that operate near shore (0 -10 nautical miles), in areas where there is a high probability of rescue within a day. Most coastal inflatable life rafts are not equipped with double inflation tubes nor extra emergency features for sustained survivability. If you will be operating over ten miles from shore, in areas with volatile weather patterns, cold water, and or in areas where rescue may take more than a day, an offshore inflatable life raft is your best bet. Offshore inflatable life rafts are designed to extend survival time to four or five days and come with supported canopies and double inflation tubes, in which the second tube acts as an emergency reserve in case the outer tube gets punctured. For vessels that operate offshore for extended amounts of time, an ocean-going inflatable life raft is a must and is required for most commercial vessels and international racers. Ocean-going inflatable life rafts have numerous safety features and are designed to extend survivability beyond thirty days.

Inflatable Life Rafts are one of the most important but least thoughts of pieces of safety equipment aboard both recreational and commercial vessels. Even though most recreational boaters will never be in a situation that requires an inflatable life raft, you never know when things may go wrong and rescue will take more than a few minutes, and it is better to be prepared for the worse than otherwise.

Inflatable life rafts, depending on what type, have the ability to extend survivability for 5 to 30 days. This article is written to help introduce inflatable life rafts to boaters and help boaters decide whether they need an inflatable life raft and if so what type. To the right, you can find articles on specific inflatable life rafts as well as a link to Go2marine.com, where you can see all of the inflatable life rafts they carry.

The most important factor in surviving a boating accident is staying out of the water. The human body loses heat 30 times faster in water colder than the human body core temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) than when exposed to cold air. In human survivability in water less than 59 degrees Fahrenheit, is less than five hours. Since inflatable life rafts get survivors out of the water, thus extending survivability from hours to days, inflatable life rafts should be a requirement on all vessels considering long-term cruising.

It is important that no matter what inflatable life raft you decide to purchase, you chose one that is SOLAS (Survivability of Life at Sea) approved. SOLAS has the highest standards in the marine industry and if a product meets their approval then it also meets the approval of the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard. For inflatable life rafts to be SOLAS approved, they must meet a series of requirements including; being able to be stored for 15 months without affecting performance, and having a boarding platform as well as a canopy designed to protect occupants from both heat and cold.

Your next decision is deciding how many people your life raft needs to accommodate.

The U.S. Coast Guard recommends approximately 4 cubic feet per person, which is not a lot of room. We would recommend that you choose a life raft that accommodates two people more than you need since this will allow you a little extra room for comfort and storage of supplies. If you choose a life raft that allows room for more than two extra people, it becomes hard for body heat to warm up the interior of the life raft.

Another decision you will have to make is whether to purchase a life raft with a single or double floor. A single floor is usually a couple of millimeters thick and serves to keep survivors out of the water. The problem with single floors is that they do not offer any protection from the water’s temperature. Inflatable life rafts with a double or insulated floor protect survivors from the water’s cold by either providing an insulated or lifted floor above the bottom floor. There are also some inflatable life rafts that have floors made of porous material that traps splashed water, preventing the survivors from having to sit in it. The problem with the porous material is that it can be hard to bail a raft if severe splashing is experienced. Some inflatable life rafts come with floors that have a righting ladder attached underneath than can be used to write an inflatable life raft if it is deployed upside down or capsized.

If you choose to purchase an offshore or ocean-going inflatable life raft, you need to decide what type of canopy you want. The best type of canopy is one that is highly visible on the outside but has a dark interior that cuts down on glare. It is also recommended that you purchase an inflatable life raft that has canopy supports that automatically inflate versus manual inflation once the survivors are aboard. If possible you should purchase a canopy that has at least one large opening for easy boarding, and a second that can be opened to increase ventilation.

Once you have chosen an inflatable life raft you need to decide where to store it. Don’t ever store it in the engine room, for two reasons, engine fire can destroy it and it is also hard to get to. If you purchase an inflatable life raft in a valise bag you should store it out of the weather in an easily accessible area near the cockpit or main helm. If you purchase an inflatable life raft in a container, bolt a cradle to an area where it will not be abused by equipment or passengers. Where you mount the cradle should also be clear of rigging so that the inflatable life raft will not get tangled with the ship. If you can you, want to get a cradle and or container that have a hydrostatic release that discharges the inflatable life raft if the boat sinks.

SOLAS CHAPTER V: SAFETY OF NAVIGATION

SOLAS Chapter V has been completely revised and now appears in the 2000 Amendments. Chapter V came into force on 1 July 2002. Unlike much of the rest of SOLAS Chapter V does have varying applicability for vessels of less than 500 GT. It will be important that you understand how this is broken down in Regulation1.

One important point in SOLAS Chapter V is to understand how navigation equipment deviations are addressed.

• In SOLAS V /16(2) a vessel may not be delayed for a navigation equipment malfunction if the port does not support repair of the equipment.

Regulation 18 in Chapter V requires that each administration have approval standards and processes for navigation equipment. Basically, any ship constructed on or after 1 July 2002 must have type-approved navigation equipment on board. Vessels constructed prior to this date can continue to operate with their present equipment; however, should they replace existing equipment it then needs to be type approved.

Applications and requirements (Chapter V Regulation 19.1)

Ships constructed after 1 July 2002 shall e fitted with navigational systems and equipment which will fulfill the requirements prescribed in paragraphs 2.1 to 2.9.

Ships constructed before 1 July 2002 shall:

• They comply fully with this regulation and continue to be fitted with equipment that fulfills the requirements prescribed in regulations V/11, V/12, and V/20 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 in force prior to 1 July 2002;

• Be fitted with the equipment or systems required in the Shipborne navigational equipment and systems not later than the first survey* after 1 July 2002, at which time the radio direction-finding apparatus referred to in V/12(p) of the SOLAS, in force prior to 1 July 2002 shall no longer be required.

*Unified Interpretation of the Term “First Survey” Referred to in SOLAS Regulations (MSC circular1290) Unless indicated otherwise, when the term “First survey” is referenced by a regulation in the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, it means the first annual survey, the first periodical survey or the first renewal survey whichever is due first after the date specified in the relevant regulation or any other survey if the Administration deems it to be reasonable and practicable, taking into account the extent of repairs and alterations being undertaken.

For a ship under construction, where the keel is laid before, but the ship is delivered after, the date specified in the relevant regulation, the initial survey is the “First Survey”.

*Unified Interpretation of the Term “First Survey” Referred to in SOLAS Regulations (MSC circular1290)

Unless indicated otherwise, when the term “First survey” is referenced by a regulation in the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, it means the first annual survey, the first periodical survey, or the first renewal survey whichever is due first after the date specified in the relevant regulation or any other survey if the Administration deems it to be reasonable and practicable, taking into account the extent of repairs and alterations being undertaken.

For a ship under construction, where the keel is laid before, but the ship is delivered after, the date specified in the relevant regulation, the initial survey is the “First Survey”.

Radar and ARPA (SOLAS V /19.2.3.2)

Radar:

Vessel over 300 gross tons are required to have one radar per SOLAS V reg.19/2.3.2).

Vessels over 3,000 gross tons are requirements for two independent radars per SOLAS reg.19/2.7.1).

Radars may be installed in a way similar to a gyrocompass. A gyrocompass is usually located in a gyro room is there are a number of gyro repeaters located about the ship. The gyro in the gyro room is the” master” and the repeaters are the” slaves the master gyro is inoperable then all the repeaters will cease to work.

Radars may be installed in a way similar to a gyrocompass is usually located in a gyro room and there are a number of gyro repeaters located about the ship. The gyro in the gyro room is the “master” and the repeaters are the “slaves”. If the master gyro is inoperable then all then repeaters will cease to work.

Radars may also be installed according to this “master” and the repeaters are the “slaves”. If the master gyro is inoperable then all the repeaters will cease to work.

Radars may also be installed according to this “master” and” slave” arrangement. If a vessel has two radars but they are not independent of each other the vessel does not meet this requirement. One way to discover if they are independent is to see how many antennas the vessel has aboard. The other way is to turn off one radar and see if the other radar continues to operate.

The purpose of an ARPA is to assist in the interpretation of radar data and reduce the risk of collision and pollution of the marine environment by automatically plotting the range and bearing of other vessels. Both course and speed are calculated to allow the vessel’s crew to determine the time and range of the closest point of approach (CPA), which aids in the reduction of vessel collisions.

Depending on the system’s installation date, ARPA is required to meet the applicable IMO performance standards (Res. An 823 (19) or Res. A 422 (XI).

The ARPA should provide enough evidence of its own malfunction o enable the observer to evaluate the operation of the system. The overall performance of the ARPA should be assessed periodically against known solutions to available test programs.

The ARPA should be tested by one of the vessel’s mates or master and logged in the vessel’s official logbook.

All vessels that required an ARPA must be fitted with a device to indicate vessel speed and distance through the water. (E.g. Doppler speed log or GPS) .

The ARPA must have a sticker indicating that is a unit in compliance with the IMO requirements. There are cheaper units on the market that do not comply with the full IMO requirements. These are known as Electronic Plotting Aids (EPA) or Automatic Plotting Aids (APA). These units aid in plotting the radar targets, but do not provide the required calculations to assist in maneuvering decisions. Be on the lookout for these substitutes.

GYROCOMPASS/ MAGNETIC COMPASS W/ DEVIATION TABLE

Per 74 SOLAS V/ 19 vessels 150 GT or more shall have an illuminated magnetic steering compass that can be read from the main steering stand.

A vessel of 500GT or more shall also have an illuminated gyrocompass repeater at the steering stand.

Bearing Repeater Compass

The bearing repeater compass offers an analog and a digital display for indication of heading information. The heading source –gyro compass, magnetic compass, or satellite compass – is also indicated. A fixed 360° scale on the outer ring allows relative bearings to be taken.

Bearing sights, bearing brackets and a pelorus stand is available.

ECHO DEPTH SOUNDING DEVICE /RECORDER (74 SOLAS V/19.2.3, 74/78 ´81 Amended SOLAS V/ 12(k))

Vessels 500 GT or more built after May 25, 1980, and vessels 1600 GT or more built before, May 25, 1980, must have an echo depth-sounding device. Vessels 1600 GT or more must also have a device that can continuously record the depth readings of the vessel’s echo depth sounding device.

SPEED LOG AND INDICATORS

Vessels 500 GT or more constructed after September 1, 1984, and vessels fitted with an Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), must have a device to indicate speed and distance. (74 SOLAS V/ 19.2.3, 74/ 78 ´81 Amendments SOLAS V/ 12(1)).

Each vessel shall have indicators readable from the centerline conning positions that show the following (74 SOLAS V / 19.2.5.4 & V/ 19.2.9):
• Rudder angle
• Shaft RPMs;
• Pitch, if fitted with Controllable Pitch Propeller (CPP);
• Lateral thrust indicator to show direction and amount of thrust, if fitted to bow or stern thrusters.
• Rate of turn indicator for vessels greater than 50,000 GT

ELECTRONIC POSITION FIXING EQUIPMENT

All vessels on an international voyage, calling on a U.S. Port must have one of the following electronic position fixing devices:

• LORAN Receiver
• Satellites Navigation Receiver ( SATNAV); and/or
• Global Positioning Systems Receiver(GPS)

NAVIGATION LIGHTS

The International Rules of the Road are codified in the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972. Parts of these regulations discuss navigation light position, color, the arc of visibility, and brightness. The marine surveyor should check to determine that the lights are –
• Undamaged and operational
• Unblocked by stored containers ( if applicable); and
• Illuminating the intended sector and angle of the arc.

CHARTS AND PUBLICATIONS: (74 SOLAS V/ 27)

Each vessel must have the following charts and navigation publications (some of the publications listed here are required if the ship is intending to call US Ports):

• Inland Rules of the Road;
• Marine charts of the area to be transited that
• Are of a large enough scale and have enough detail to make safe navigation of the area possible, and are currently corrected.
• For the area to be transited, a currently corrected extracts from or copy of each of the following publications:
• Coast Pilot; and
• Coast Guard Light List
• For the area to be transited, the current edition of, or applicable current extract from
• Tide tables published by the National Ocean Service; and
• Tide current tables
• SOLAS V/ 21 requires that vessels carry on board a copy of the International Code of Signals.

ELECTRONIC CHART DISPLAY INFORMATION SYSTEMS (ECDIS)

In accordance with SOLAS 74/ 78 Chapter V Regulation 19.2.1.4, all vessels applicable to SOLAS 74/ 78, irrespective of size must have official and up-to-date nautical charts and publications to plan and display the vessel’s route for the intended voyage and to plot and monitor positions throughout the voyage.

Although ECDIS is not required, under SOLAS 74/ 78 Chapter V Regulation 18.4, ECDIS may be accepted as complying with the chart carriage requirement (versus carrying paper charts) if adequate backup arrangements are provided. In the case where ECDIS is used aboard a vessel, IMO performance standards (e.g. Resolution A.817 (19)) must be met in accordance with SOLAS 74/ 78 Chapter V Regulation 19.2.1.5

AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS (AIS) (SOLAS V Reg. 19/2.4)

The purpose of AIS is to improve the safety of navigation by providing real-time communication information between vessel to vessel and vessel to vessel traffic services (VTS) (i.e “ship to ship” and “ ship to shore”) for collision avoidance, and the protection of the environment (i.e., information about vessels and their cargoes). IAW SOLAS 74/ 78 V Reg. 19.2.4, certain vessels must be fitted with AIS and must meet the performance standards applicable to AIS (i.e MSC. 74(69)).

Each vessel required to provide automated position reports to a Vessel Traffic System (VTS) or Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) must do so by an installed Automatic Identification System.

SOLAS V Reg. 19.2.4.1

If constructed on or after 1 JUL 02, the following vessels must be fitted with AIS:

• All vessels 300 GT or more engaged on International Voyages.
• All passenger’s vessels
• Cargo vessels 500 GT or more engaged on domestic voyages

SOLAS V Reg. 19.2.4.2

If constructed before 1 JUL 02 and engaged on international voyages, the following vessels must be fitted with AIS:

• All vessels 300 GT or more engaged on International Voyages
• All passenger’s vessels

SOLAS V Reg. 19.2.4.3 

If constructed before 1 JUL 02 and NOT engaged on International voyages, the following vessels must be fitted with AIS NLT 1 JUL 08:

• All passenger’s vessels
• Cargo vessels 500 GT or more

VOYAGE DATA RECORDERS (VDR) (SOLAS V/20)

The VDR functions in much the same way as the “black box” does for aircraft. The purpose of a VDR is to maintain and store, in a secure and retrievable form, information concerning the position, movement, physical status, and command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following a marine casualty. Information contained in a VDR is used during casualty investigations to identify. The cause(s) of the marine casualty should be made available to both the  Administration and the vessel owner.

In accordance with SOLAS 74/78 Chapter V Regulation 20.1, certain vessels must be fitted with a VDR and must meet the performance standards applicable to VDRs (i.e. IMO Resolution A. 861(20)).

SOLAS V Reg. 20 – If constructed prior to 1 JUL 02 and engaged on international voyages, the following vessels must be fitted with VDR:

• Ro-Ro passenger vessels
• Passenger’s vessel

If constructed on or after 1 JUL 02 and engaged on international voyages, the following
vessels must be fitted with VDR:

• All passenger’s vessels
• Vessels other than passengers 3,000 GT or more.

To assist in casualty investigations, cargo ships, when engaged on international voyages, shall be fitted with a VDR which may be a simplified voyage data recorder (S-VDR) as follows:

• In the case of cargo ships of 20,000 gross tonnages and upwards constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2006 but not later than 1 July 2009;

• In the case of cargo ships of 3,000 gross tonnages and upwards but less than 20,000 gross tonnages constructed before 1 July 2002, at the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2007 but not later than 1 July 2010;

Note: IAW SOLAS V Reg. 20.2, administrations may exempt ships, other than ro-ro’s, constructed before 1 JULY 2002 if interfacing a VDR with existing equipment is unreasonable and impracticable.

Long-range identification and tracking of ships (Chapter V Regulation 19.1) Nothing in this regulation or the provisions of performance standards and functional requirements adopted by the Organization in relation to the long-range identification and tracking of ships shall prejudice the rights, jurisdiction, or obligations of States under international law, in particular, the legal regimes of the high seas, the exclusive economic zone, the contiguous zone, the territorial seas or straits used for international navigation, and archipelagic sea lanes.

This regulation shall apply to the following types of ships:

• Passenger ships, including high-speed passenger craft
• Cargos ships, including high-speed craft, of 300 gross tonnages and upwards; and
• Mobile offshore units

NAVIGATION BRIDGE VISIBILITY (74 SOLAS V/22)

Cargo, cargo gear, and trim of all vessels entering or departing from U.S ports must be arranged in such a way that the field of vision from the navigation bridge will provide a clear and unobstructed view through at least two front windows at all times and in any kind of weather.

Per SOLAS V/22 vessels must meet much more stringent requirements, for example, applicable to ships constructed after July 1998:

• The view of the sea surface from the conning position must not be obscured by more than 2 ship lengths forward of the bow to 10 degrees on either side under all conditions.

• The total arc of blind sectors shall not exceed 20 degrees.

• The horizontal field of vision shall not be lesson than 225 degrees.

• From the main conning position the horizontal field of vision shall extend over an arc from right ahead to at least 60 degrees on each side of the ship.

• The ship’s side shall be visible from the bridge wing.

• Bridge window framing shall be kept to a minimum, windows shall be angled to prevent reflection, and polarized and tinted windows shall not be fitted.

Bridge visibility may become an issue on container ships and heavy lift vessels with an aft pilothouse.

LINE – THROWING APPLIANCE (74 SOLAS III/18) AND SIGNALLING LAMP (74 SOLAS V/ 19.2.2)

Ships of at least 500 gross tons must have a line–throwing appliance that must:

• Be capable of throwing a line with reasonable accuracy.
• Include not less than four projectiles, each capable of carrying the lire at least 230 meters in calm weather (LSA Code Section 7.1), and
• Include not less than four lines each having a breaking strength of not less than 2

Kilonewtons (1 Kilonewton = approx 440 pounds).

The marine surveyor must check the expiration date of the rocket and lines. Vessels of at least 150 gross tons must have a signaling lamp that is stowed on or near the bridge and is not solely dependent on the ship’s main source of power.

REQUIRED TESTS AND INSPECTIONS (SOLAS V/ 26)

Both of the above sites require that vessels, prior to getting underway, conduct the specified checks of their navigation and steering systems. This should be done and logged. Check the vessel log book to ensure they have carried out these required tests.

Any failure of equipment may call into question whether or not these checks were actually performed.

Exam Questions

3. Cargo ships shall carry not less than the number of lifebuoys complying with the requirements of regulation 7.1 and section 2.1 of the LSA Code prescribed as specified below:

7. All ships irrespective of size shall have:

9. "A" class divisions are those divisions formed by bulkheads and decks which comply with the following criteria:

10. They are insulated with approved non-combustible materials such that the average temperature of the unexposed side will not rise more than 140°C above the original temperature, nor will the temperature, at any one point, including any joint, rise more than 180°C above the original temperature, within the time listed below:

14. Fire hoses shall have a length of at least 10 m, but not more than:

15. In addition to the fire protection systems and appliances applicable to all ships, tankers shall develop a maintenance plan for:

17. Inert gas systems apply to: