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FEB 2014

ShipInsight • CRITICAL INFORMATION ON MARITIME TECHNOLOGY AND REGULATION • SPONSORED BY

SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1 • A guide to regulation and technology •

REGULATIONS A code of its own for the key issue of life-saving

EQUIPMENT The key to staying alive in all conditions

WSS Wilhelmsen Ships Service way to make money

RESCUE CRAFT The controversial choice of tortoise or the hare

EVACUATION Slides and chutes make a rapid exit safer


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

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 | INTRODUCTION

L

IFE-SAVING APPLIANCES – or rather the lack of them – are at the very heart of the SOLAS Convention and arguably the driving force that led to the establishing of the IMO, even before the founding of the United Nations under which it operates today. Life-saving equipment has been a feature of maritime operations throughout history but until the tragic loss of life involved in the sinking of the Titanic had never really received the regulatory attention it warranted. Even in the second decade of the 21st Century there are many who would say that the IMO has devoted less attention to the issue than it should; having chosen instead to concentrate more of its resources on security and environmental issues. A century after the most famous shipwreck in history, the issue of lifeboats once again came to the fore when the Costa Concordia foundered off the Italian coast. But life-saving is about more than just passenger ships and high profile disasters and for hundreds of thousands of seafarers, the equipment on board could be quite literally the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Sadly, the matter of safety often comes low down on the agenda for many seafarers and ship operators. In some cases this is a case of personal apathy but in others it is nothing short of criminal negligence and dereliction of duty. What is certain is that safety will always be an issue and there are signs that it is set to climb back up the regulatory agenda for a whole variety of reasons.

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche FEBRUARY 2014 | 3


 SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

CONTENTS

06 | CHAPTER 1 - Regulations A code of its own for the key issue of life-saving

12 | CHAPTER 2 - Personal equipment The key to staying afloat and staying alive in all conditions

19 | CHAPTER 3 - Don’t waste your money Wilhelmsen Ships Service way to make money

26 | CHAPTER 4 - Lifeboats & liferafts Lifeboat safety record still not off the hook a century after Titanic

36 | CHAPTER 5 – Evacuation systems Slides and chutes make a rapid exit safer for non-seafarers

42 | CHAPTER 6 – Rescue craft The controversial choice of tortoise or the hare

46 | CHAPTER 7 – Miscellaneous Smoke and mirrors and a flare for being seen

Editor: Malcolm Latarche malcolm@shipinsight.com Head of Design: Chris Caldwell Layout & Production: Steven Price Advertising Sales: advertising@shipinsight.com Address: ShipInsight, 12 - 14 Bridge Steet Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8BZ, UK www.shipinsight.com

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Safety and Survival Part 1 is produced by ShipInsight Ltd. Care is taken to ensure the information it contains is accurate and up to date. However ShipInsight Ltd accepts noresponsibility or inaccuracies in, or changes to, such information. No part of this publication may be produced in any form or by means including photocopying or recording, without the permission of ShipInsight Ltd.

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 | CHAPTER 1: REGULATIONS

A

NYONE SEARCHING THROUGH THE TEXT of Chapter III of SOLAS will find plenty of references to life-saving appliances and equipment but not a fully comprehensive explanation as to the rules, regulations and recommendations that govern their presence on board ships subject to the SOLAS Convention. That is because the subject of life-saving appliances is considered important enough for all of the regulations to be gathered together in a code of its own. All operators should be aware of the IMO publication Life-Saving Appliances including LSA Code the latest version of which is the 2010 edition. The book – which is almost as large as the main SOLAS text and runs to almost 300 pages – is in fact a compilation of three separate texts. First and foremost there is the LSA Code itself which was adopted in 1996 and came into force in 1998. The Code is essentially the detailed mandatory requirements of the equipment needed and referred to in the main SOLAS text. Also included are recommendations for testing of equipment and the Code of Practice for evaluating and approving life-saving appliances. The layout of the publication makes a great deal of logical sense beginning with definitions followed by chapters on personal appliances, signals, lifeboats and rafts, rescue boats, evacuation systems and miscellaneous equipment. 6 | FEBRUARY 2014

Liferaft Systems Australia


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The provisions of the LSA Code are not restricted to SOLAS ships since they have also been incorporated into the IMO’s Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units – better known as the MODU Code. The MODU Code was first published in 1989 but was agreed some ten years earlier. It was deemed necessary because of the growing number of drilling units then being built. At that time, drilling units were mostly of the rig or jack-up variety and not the drill ships that are becoming common today. Modern drill ships need to comply with both SOLAS and the MODU Codes. From the point of view of seafarers and ship operators, some of the content in the book related to prototype testing might seem to be superfluous since they should be able to expect that a type approved piece of equipment should be fit for purpose. However, there is an important point that relates to this and that is the identification of any International Standards Organisation or – in the case of electrical equipment – International Electroctechnical Council standards that need to be complied with. Usually any appropriate standards numbers are to be found printed or attached somehow to pieces of equipment. Comparing the numbers with those in the book will help crews ensure that equipment on board is the most up to date and not an obsolete item supplied in error. Wrong ISO or IEC numbers can also be an indication that the equipment is not genuine and had been pirated in which case no confidence should be put in its effectiveness.

Survitec Group Ltd.

STAYING UP TO DATE

SOLAS regulations are kept under constant review but even so there are regular calls from organisations, individuals and equipment makers both from inside and outside the industry to introduce changes to the rules and performance standards. The life-saving appliances makers themselves are constantly improving products and trying to learn from accidents and incidents. New materials make this process easier in some cases and academic research is also a valuable influence. FEBRUARY 2014 | 7


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

As with all IMO publications, the latest edition of the LSA Code at any given time may not represent all applicable regulations so those relying on it will also need to refer to recent IMO resolutions and circulars. There have been several meetings of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and its various working groups since the text for the current edition was finalised. So far the only definitely confirmed changes have been an increase in the average person’s weight from 75kg to 82.5kg for the purpose of evaluating and approving lifeboats and liferafts and changes to the regulations concerning lifeboat release mechanisms. Amendments to SOLAS, aimed at preventing accidents during lifeboat launching entered into force on 1 January 2013. The amendments, adopted in May 2011, add a new paragraph 5 to SOLAS regulation III/1, to require lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with the new LSA Code requirements to be replaced, no later than the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2014 but, in any case, not later than 1 July 2019. The amendment will require the assessment and possible replacement of a large number of lifeboat release hooks. Information submitted by flag States on their assessments of existing lifeboat hooks is available on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) under Evaluation of Hooks. Other changes are on the cards. At MSC 92 in June last year the meeting adopted amendments to SOLAS relating to passenger drills and discussed recommendations arising from the Costa Concordia incident. Amendments SOLAS regulation III/19 will require musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure, instead of “within 24 hours”, as stated in the current regulations. The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2015. Following discussion in an MSC working group on passenger ships safety, the meeting approved revised Recommended interim measures for passenger ship companies to enhance the safety of 8 | FEBRUARY 2014

AMENDMENTS TO SOLAS, AIMED AT PREVENTING ACCIDENTS DURING LIFEBOAT LAUNCHING ENTERED INTO FORCE ON 1 JANUARY 2013.


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REGULATIONS

passenger ships (MSC.1/Circ.1446/Rev.2), to include new recommendations including stowage of life-jackets (including stowage of additional lifejackets near muster stations) and extending the use of video for passenger emergency instruction notices. Approved, for adoption at MSC 93 was a draft MSC resolution on Requirements for periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats and rescue boats, as well as associated draft SOLAS amendments to make these requirements mandatory, and also to approve, in principle, a draft MSC circular on Guidelines on safety during abandon ship drills using lifeboats, reflecting recommendatory provisions. NORWEGIAN ENHANCEMENTS

As a general rule lifeboats are considered to be under the auspices of SOLAS for both ships and MODUs but there is one notable exception where local regulations have been formulated. Following several incidents involving lifeboat launchings from rigs and offshore units on the Norwegian continental shelf in the early 2000s, a series of studies and research programmes were put in place by the authorities and industry organisations active in the offshore sector. The result was that the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) of Norway tasked classification society DNV to develop a new industry standard that could be applied to freefall lifeboats in use on both rigs and offshore ships operating in Norwegian waters. The standard is DNV–OS-E406 and although several manufacturers are now producing craft complying with both SOLAS and PSA rules, mandatory use of the boats on rigs is still to be agreed. Most of the issues with the boats that led to the new standard are probably due to the greater height from which they are launched compared with similar lifeboats carried on ships. Certainly there have been few complaints about the construction or performance of lifeboats approved to SOLAS standards from within the shipping industry other than those related to their launching arrangements. However, lifeboat design and launching arrangements are bound to be given more consideration following several incidents involving FEBRUARY 2014  | 9


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REGULATIONS

passenger vessels where it has not been possible to launch lifeboats because of the vessel listing. The most recent example of this is once again the Costa Concordia. A MATTER OF RECORD

IN SUCH CASES IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO PURCHASE OR HIRE ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT.

The exact number of life-saving appliances from lifebuoys and lifejackets to lifeboats and liferafts to be carried on board any particular vessel will depend upon its type and purpose and the number of crew and passengers carried. The numbers will be recorded on the ship’s appropriate safety equipment certificate issued by the flag state (or a recognised organisation acting on its behalf) which is one of the documents that needs to be produced in order to be given customs clearance for departure. Customs clearance also requires the number of persons on board to be declared and although checks are sometimes cursory and some requirements overlooked, there are many instances of ships being prevented from sailing due to insufficient equipment being on board. This is mostly when contractors’ riding crews are being carried. In such cases it may be necessary to purchase or hire additional equipment. SOLAS requires regular drills and instruction in the use of life-saving equipment and recording of these in the ship’s log. Most company ISM procedures also require evidence of basic training and instruction in the use of equipment to be documented. Port State Control inspections will frequently focus on these records especially as unfamiliarity with equipment and procedures is one of the most common causes of PSC detentions. PSC will also be looking for confirmation that the scheduled inspection and maintenance of lifeboats and liferafts has been carried out by approved service stations and appropriate certification provided.

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ďƒ¨ | CHAPTER 2: PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

F

LOTATION DEVICES MADE OF WOOD or cork date back several centuries at least although the first patent for a cork lifejacket is recorded as being in 1765. Cork was largely superseded by firstly kapok and more recently by modern synthetic foams. SOLAS-approved lifejackets are produced by many companies around the world and while all must meet the standards required, the variety available means that some are probably more effective than others. Because there is such a variety of SOLAS-approved lifejackets available including some which are inflatable there is a high potential for confusion as regards use. For this reason some flag states will put a limit on the number of different types allowed on board any particular ship. Even where there is no such regulation, good practice would be to limit the number of types allowed even though this may mean some perfectly serviceable jackets will be disposed of when replacements are needed. By the very fact of their training, crew members should be able to use lifejackets properly but passengers and supernumeraries will need instruction as soon as possible. All passenger vessels are required to carry out evacuation drills for passengers within a specified time after embarkation and this should include donning of lifejackets and checking by assigned crew that the jackets are correctly fitted and serviceable.

12 | FEBRUARY 2014

The key to staying afloat and staying alive


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Amendments to Chapter II of the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code come into effect on July 1, 2010, and introduced the following requirements for the approval of lifejackets: • Each lifejacket shall be fitted with a whistle firmly secured by alanyard. • Lifejacket lights and whistles shall be selected and secured to the lifejacket in such a way that their performance in combination is not degraded. • Each lifejacket shall be provided with a releasable buoyant line or other means to secure it to a lifejacket worn by another person in the water. • Each lifejacket shall be provided with a suitable means to allow a rescuer to lift the wearer from the water into a survival craft or rescue boat.

THE REQUIREMENTS APPLY: • to lifejackets provided on board ships constructed (having their keel laid) on or after July 1, 2010 and • when providing new lifejackets to vessels with a keel laying date before July 1, 2010. • New requirements for the carriage of additional equipment, also effective July 1, 2010, have been introduced under the SOLAS Convention, as follows: • On all ships where adult lifejackets are not designed to fit persons weighing up to 140 kg with a chest girth of up to 1,750 mm, suitable accessories are to be provided that allow the lifejacket to be secured to such persons.

All passenger ships are to be provided with lifejackets for “infants”. Some of the requirements – for example lifting straps and buddy lines – were already features of some available lifejacket but not others. Any lifejacket supplied today should meet the requirements although some unscrupulous owners may try to circumvent the rules by purchasing what is now obsolete stock when replacing

THE VARIETY AVAILABLE MEANS THAT SOME ARE PROBABLY MORE EFFECTIVE THAN OTHERS. FEBRUARY 2014 | 13


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

jackets on a vessel built before 2010. All ships must carry an approved lifejacket for every person onboard the ship. SOLAS requires that lifejackets suitable for children must also be carried in a number equal to at least 10% of the number of passengers onboard and the number of such lifejacket must never be less than the number of children onboard. The lifejackets should be stored in the cabins of crew and passengers. Jackets must also be carried for persons on watch at any time and must be stored on the bridge, in the engine control room and at any other manned watch station. An additional number of lifejackets equal to 5% of the persons onboard must also be carried and stored in conspicuous places on deck or at muster stations. Under certain circumstances, additional lifejackets must also be carried, and stored at muster stations or in public spaces, when it is likely that persons may not be able to return to their staterooms to retrieve the lifejacket stored there. Some flag States have similar requirements for domestic or non-international voyages. These are minimum requirements and shipowners’ policies may be to carry more. The Cruise Line International Association, a trade body for the cruise industry has imposed higher standards on its members. IMMERSION SUITS AND SIMILAR

Immersion suits are designed to aid in keeping crew alive and preventing hypothermia when in the water. Until 2006 the number of immersion suits needed to be carried on any ship was limited but in that year the IMO introduced a requirement for a suit for each individual. As with lifejackets, immersion suits vary in type but all must meet performance standards. Some suits have an inherent buoyancy that matches that required for lifejackets and can in some instances be substituted for lifejackets. Some ships that operate only in warm climates can be exempted from the requirement to carry immersion suits. When the 2006 requirement was introduced there was a dramatic increase in the number of companies manufacturing and supplying immersion suits but with the passing of the boom, many have since 14 | FEBRUARY 2014

AN ADDITIONAL NUMBER OF LIFEJACKETS EQUAL TO 5% OF THE PERSONS ONBOARD MUST ALSO BE CARRIED AND STORED.


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PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

ceased trading. The quality of some suits was also considered suspect and there were several instances of product piracy where inferior suits were attempted to be passed off as genuine articles from trusted makers. Suits are generally made in a range of three sizes to accommodate the diversity in size and weight of crew members. There should be a degree of adjustability in each suit to ensure the best fit and performance against leaks and body heat loss. Some suits have inherent insulation but others are designed to be worn with warm clothing to provide the thermal performance. Each type of suit should be clearly identifiable in this regard. Immersion suits are made with welded or glued seams and these and the material from which they are made can deteriorate over time. For this reason all immersion suits should be subjected to an air pressure test at least every three years and more frequently if the suit is over ten years old. As with lifejackets there is a requirement for the number of suits to be recorded on ship’s safety certificates and also for training and instruction to be given in their use.

Drew Marine: Comet Light and Smoke Signal

PROTECTION FOR SPECIALISTS

Linked to the requirement for immersion suits, SOLAS provides for alternative clothing that can be worn by crews of rescue boats and assigned special duties connected with use of a marine evacuation system. If not an approved immersion suit, the requirement under SOLAS is for a waterproof anti-exposure suit. Such a suit should • provide inherent buoyancy of at least 70 N; • be made of material which reduces the risk of heat stress during rescue and evacuation operations; • cover the whole body with the exception of the head and hands and, where the • Administration so permits, feet; gloves and a hood shall be provided in such a manner as to remain available for use with the anti-exposure suits; FEBRUARY 2014 | 15


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

• be able to be unpacked and donned without assistance within 2 min; • not sustain burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped in a fire for a period of 2 seconds; • be equipped with a pocket for a portable VHF telephone; give a lateral field of vision of at least 120°.

PROTECTION FOR PASSENGERS Immersion suits are not the easiest pieces of personal protection to become familiar with and are therefore not considered appropriate for passengers. However, there is still an obvious need for passengers in lifeboats to be given protection against extreme temperatures and this is done by way of a thermal protective aid. The thermal protective aid is an all-enveloping waterproof item that leaves only the face uncovered. It works by reducing evaporative and conductive heat loss from the wearer and must be designed to function in a temperature range of -30ºC to +20ºC. All passenger ships must carry for each lifeboat on the ship at least three immersion suits complying with the requirements of the Code and, in addition, a thermal protective aid complying with the requirements the Code for every person to be accommodated in the lifeboat and not provided with an immersion suit. These immersion suits and thermal protective aids need not be carried: • for persons to be accommodated in totally or partially enclosed lifeboats; or if the ship is constantly engaged on voyages in warm climates* where, in the opinion of the Administration, they are unnecessary. • The provisions also apply to partially or totally enclosed lifeboats not complying with the requirements of the Code, provided they are carried on ships constructed before 1 July 1986.

LIFEBUOYS As a first form of assistance for someone in the water, the lifebuoy is probably the easiest to carry and to use. The exact number of lifebuoys that must be carried depend upon the length of the vessel 16 | FEBRUARY 2014


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PERSONAL EQUIPMENT

and whether it is a cargo or passenger ship. The minimum number of lifebuoys on the smallest vessels (under 100m for cargo ships and under 60m for passenger vessels) is eight. SOLAS requires the lifebuoys to be distributed so as to be readily available on both sides of the ship and as far as practicable on all open decks extending to the ship’s side. At least one should be placed in the vicinity of the stern. They must also be easy to cast loose and not secured in any way. At least one lifebuoy on each side of the ship must be fitted with a buoyant lifeline equal in length to not less than twice the height at which it is stowed above the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition, or 30 m, whichever is the greater. At least half of the lifebuoys must be fitted with selfigniting lights and at least two of those should also be equipped with automatic smoke signals and be capable of quick release from the navigation bridge. The requirement for light and smoke is to keep a visual fix on the lifebuoy while the ship performs the necessary man overboard manoeuvre. To some extent this has been partially replaced by the MOB button on the GPS but, whereas that will indicate the exact position the alarm was raised, the visual aids on the lifebuoy will help rescuers allow for current and drift. Lifebuoys should be checked regularly for flotation performance as it is not unknown for the filling material to deteriorate to such an extent that the lifebuoy becomes unserviceable while looking to be in perfect condition. PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACONS (PLBS) A PLB is a relatively new development which employs the same principal as an EPIRB and transmits a radio signal on the 406MHz wavelength that will be picked up by ships’ GMDSS stations. They are small battery-powered devices about the size of a large mobile phone or small walkie talkie that can be easily carried in a pocket or on a belt clip. Depending on the maker – the numbers of which are growing – the battery is usually of the lithium ion type with a life span of up to six-years. Normally they will transmit a signal for a minimum 24 hours.

ALL PASSENGER SHIPS MUST CARRY FOR EACH LIFEBOAT ON THE SHIP AT LEAST THREE IMMERSION SUITS COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS. FEBRUARY 2014 | 17


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1 optimising performance

Working together so you do business better

Your needs are always changing, and we understand the importance of consistent quality and availability. Which is why we’re driven continuously to do things better - better services, proven products and new ways of working. So you do better too. Wherever you operate, you know we’re ready and mobilised to keep your business running at maximum efficiency. To learn more about our products and services visit our website or ask for our latest product catalogue. www.wilhelmsen.com/shipsservice 18 | FEBRUARY 2014

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 | CHAPTER 3: VALUE ADDED SAFETY

Immersion suits ready for service

T

HE DOWTURN IN SHIPPING EARNIN GS is putting pressure on shipowners to reduce expenditure on maintenance of key safety systems. But taking a planned approach to servicing has the potential to improve operational efficiency as well as reducing risk, says Andrew Sheriff. Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) engineers make thousands of ship visits every year, going onboard to service firefighting and other safety equipment and systems on behalf of shipowners and operators. It’s a vital task and in current economic conditions, one that the industry neglects at its peril. The low earnings environment is putting an added pressure on ship operations and increasingly it means companies like WSS must go far beyond our traditional role as a service supplier. Instead, we must support the industry and our customers by ensuring we are approved to service equipment and systems certified by multiple classification societies, not just onboard ship but at our safety service centres globally. TRANSPARENT INSPECTION AND APPROVALS

As a supplier of Unitor fire safety equipment and servicing for this brand and for other manufacturers’ products, WSS has been active in setting standards that enable shipowners and operators to minimise their risks. WSS has for many years operated with the approval of FEBRUARY 2014 | 19


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

VALUE ADDED SAFETY

Norwegian class society Det Norske Veritas. But the fact is that when the ship to be attended has equipment certified by ABS, Lloyd’s Register, Korean Register or Class NK, we have historically been unable to service it. The position of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has traditionally been that approval by one member class society is good for all, but this has proved difficult to apply in the field. Our view is that to be a serious global supplier, we must be certified by all the main IACS class societies. WSS is the only supplier that can offer a global service certified by all the IACS members backed up by five regional training centres for its technicians. We are continually challenging ourselves to ensure that our services are at or above the minimum standards. But the bigger issue is not just to have the inspection processes and the approvals in place but to help our customers understand the value that this approach brings them. SUPPORTING CREW COMPETENCE

Increasingly, when our safety technicians go onboard ship, what they find is crew who know the bare minimum about the equipment and systems they are expected to use. This may be attributable to the crew’s knowledge but also because they are expected to be generalists rather than specialists. Crew numbers are getting smaller and smaller but more and more is expected of them. The story is the same onshore too. As companies streamline their operations, superintendents may find themselves running more ships with no increase in resources. As result, shipowners and operators are increasingly looking for not just high quality service, but continuity, predictability and cost-control across all world. WSS provides its safety services under two main models. Some customers will choose to use their safety service provider on a spot or as needed basis. They will flag their requirements for equipment servicing on an ad hoc basis, because there is a regulation that states that they have to be inspected or replaced depending on the time span. 20 | FEBRUARY 2014

WSS IS THE ONLY SUPPLIER THAT CAN OFFER A GLOBAL SERVICE CERTIFIED BY ALL THE IACS MEMBERS.


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The second and more comprehensive approach is to use the WSS Safety Service Agreement where the owner pays an annual fee and WSS handles the servicing of their equipment, both our own brands and those of other OEMs. WSS will gather together all the required information on service dates which we put into our management system. We then start to take control of the process so that we can flag up to the customers when a particular piece of equipment needs to be inspected and make arrangements to complete the work. DELIVERING SAFETY SERVICE GLOBALLY

The key advantage of the WSS Safety Service Agreement is in providing a consolidated, standardised programme to the shipowner. On top of the operational advantages, working this way also gives our clients much lower administration and running costs from a management perspective compared to an ad hoc approach. We staff WSS safety service centres with experienced people and a team of apprentices, because we have found in the last few years how difficult it can be to hire staff with the required level of marine expertise from the general workforce. Our apprentices will go through a minimum of two years’ training to become a junior technician and then go up through the grades until they become a senior technician. That takes a minimum of six years and possibly as long as 10 years. As apprentices, they will have a mentor and as a technician they will themselves be trained on a regular basis. Our safety service centres work closely with the OEMs whose equipment we are asked to maintain and when new systems or solutions are released, we invite OEMs to train us on the changes. The model for us is to be OEM-neutral and this approach works for smaller OEMs too, since there are some for whom providing global coverage is not a practical option. NOT JUST SAFER, BUT SMARTER TOO

Why inspection and maintenance of fire and safety systems matters to shipowners should be self-evident. A fire onboard ship is generally agreed to be one of the worst possible scenarios for the crew. But 22 | FEBRUARY 2014

WE THEN START TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE PROCESS SO THAT WE CAN FLAG UP TO THE CUSTOMERS WHEN A PARTICULAR PIECE OF EQUIPMENT NEEDS TO BE INSPECTED.


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when times are tough, the temptation must be to ‘make do and mend’ rather than take a planned, proactive approach to servicing safety equipment. This not only increases the potential risk for crew, the vessel and the environment, but it is a completely false economy. Owners choosing the WSS Safety Service Agreement run ships that are not just safer but actually more cost-efficient as a result. Because WSS can deliver standardised, high quality products and services we have the potential to reduce operational and administration costs for customers. With no need for local sourcing, purchasing is consolidated, reducing freight costs. Working with WSS also means having a trusted business relationship; we work to strong corporate governance and business values. Ultimately, safety is a regulatory requirement not a ‘nice-to-have’ and owners can continue to expect a greater level of scrutiny as regulators seek to improve awareness of risk. Andrew Sheriff, Business Director, Safety WSS

Andrew Sheriff, Business Director, Safety WSS

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COMPANY

LIFEBOATS

LIFERAFTS

RESCUE BOATS

LIFEBUOYS

LIFE JACKETS

DREW MARINE SIGNAL AND SAFETY UK LTD FAST RSQ

GLOBAL DAVIT GMBH HANSA SAFETY

HARDING SAFETY A/S

HYUNDAI LIFEBOATS

• •

JOTRON A/S LIFERAFT SYSTEMS AUSTRALIA

NADIRO

NORSAFE A/S

PALFINGER NED-DECK

SURVITEC GROUP LTD.

SURVIVAL CRAFT INSPECTORATE

RESTECH NORWAY A/S

TYCO MARINE SOLUTIONS VIKING LIFE-SAVING EQUIPMENT A/S WILHELMSEN SHIPS SERVICE ZODIAC 24 | FEBRUARY 2014

• •


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MES

SIGNALS

MISC.

WEB ADDRESS WWW.SIGNALANDSAFETY.COM WWW.FASTRSQ.COM

WWW.GLOBAL-DAVIT.DE

WWW.HANSA-SAFETY.COM

WWW.HARDING.NO WWW.HDBOAT.COM

• •

WWW.LSAMES.COM

WWW.NADIRO.COM

WWW.NORSAFE.COM

WWW.PALFINGERNEDDECK.COM

WWW.RESTECH.NO

WWW.SURVITECGROUP.COM

WWW.SURVIVALCRAFT.COM

WWW.TYCOMARINE.COM

WWW.VIKING-LIFE.COM

WWW.WILHELMSEN.COM

WWW.ZODIACMARINE.CO.UK

WWW.JOTRON.COM

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ďƒ¨ | CHAPTER 4: LIFEBOATS & LIFERAFTS

T

HE MANDATORY CARRIAGE OF lifeboats predates the SOLAS Convention by a very long time but the requirement to provide sufficient capacity for all on board is a more modern development and a reaction to the Titanic disaster. Lifeboat design has changed over the years but open boats have predominated until quite recently. Today most vessels are equipped with totally or partially enclosed lifeboats. Traditionally lifeboats have been hung on davits and lowered on wire falls. More recently the free fall lifeboat has become a feature on many vessels and is mandatory on some types of tanker. The free fall lifeboat is not designed for regular launch and recovery. As the last hope for crew and passengers in an emergency, survival craft comprising lifeboats and liferafts are vital items of equipment. They have also been at the centre of controversy for many years and have been said to have caused perhaps as many deaths as lives they have saved. If passenger evacuations from stricken cruise ships and ferries are taken out of the equation it is quite likely that they have indeed become a major cause of loss of seafarer life. This problem has less to do with the boats themselves and is mainly due to problems experienced with release mechanisms and their incorrect operation and the means of securing lifeboats in davits. It is for this reason that the requirement to man lifeboats 26 | FEBRUARY 2014

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during drills has been suspended. The issue of lifeboat accidents was first raised by Australia in 1999 and has been continually on the IMO agenda ever since. A measure of the prolonged debate that has been taking place is that in 2007 a resume of IMO actions in its various committees from 1999 until then ran to no less than 50 pages. Today, a similar document could be almost twice as long. Since the 1980s, SOLAS has required every lifeboat to be launched by a fall or falls, except a free-fall lifeboat to be fitted with a release mechanism complying with the following requirements: • All hooks are to be released simultaneously. • The mechanism shall have normal (off-load) and on-load release capabilities. Release system shall be so arranged as to release the lifeboat under any conditions of loading from no load with the lifeboat waterborne to the load of 1.1 times the total mass of the lifeboat when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment. • The release control shall be clearly marked with a colour that contrasts with its surroundings. • The fixed structural connections of the release mechanism in the boat shall be designed with the calculated safety factor of 6 based on the ultimate strength of the material used. • Every lifeboat shall be fitted with a device to secure a painter near its bow. • Except for free-fall lifeboats, the painter securing device shall include a release device to ensure the painter to be released from inside the lifeboat, with the ship making headway at speeds up to 5 knots in calm water.

The main causes of accidents has been the on load release mechanism being operated at the wrong moment or the mechanism failing (usually because the securing arrangements have been carried out incorrectly) causing the lifeboat to be released at an unsafe height or leaving the lifeboat hanging from one end.

THIS PROBLEM HAS LESS TO DO WITH THE BOATS THEMSELVES AND IS MAINLY DUE TO PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED WITH RELEASE MECHANISMS. FEBRUARY 2014 | 27


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LIFEBOATS & LIFERAFTS

There have been far fewer problems with incidents of off load release and in any case these would be less of a danger to life except in a genuine emergency where it was impossible to release the lifeboat. When used for its prime purpose of abandoning ship, a lifeboat would not be required to be retrieved as it is during a drill and it is because so many of the accidents have occurred when the lifeboat was being retrieved after a drill that the requirement for releasing the lifeboat or manning it during drills has been suspended. As this guide goes to press the issue of lifeboat release mechanisms would seem to have reached a resolution although remedial action could stretch out to July 2019. At MSC89 in May 2011, it was decided to implement new requirements for lifeboats with on-load release hooks. These requirements came into force in 2013. In accordance with the decision existing release and retrieval systems must be verified and tested against the requirements not later than 1 July 2014, and systems that do not comply will have to be replaced at the first scheduled drydocking after 1 July 2014, but not later than 1 July 2019. The verification and testing of systems should be carried out by the system maker but where that is impossible it should be done by an appropriate recognised organisation approved by the flag state. Shipowners must verify that a manufacturer has taken or will take responsibility for the self-assessment of the system installed on their vessels or else make arrangements for replacement. For a release and retrieval system that has passed the design review and hook testing, the actual hook on each lifeboat will be subject to a one-time follow up overhaul examination on board each vessel. Again this should be done within the time limits set by the new requirement. A sensible precaution endorsed and made mandatory by some flag states is for a fall preventer device to be installed on release and retrieval systems at all times during testing until the systems are approved. The number of vessels affected by the new regulations 28 | FEBRUARY 2014

AT MSC89 IN MAY 2011, IT WAS DECIDED TO IMPLEMENT NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR LIFEBOATS WITH ONLOAD RELEASE HOOKS.


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SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

runs in to tens of thousands with many having multiple lifeboats installed on board. Therefore the number of release mechanisms need replacement could be as high as 100,000. There are various makers of release mechanisms each employing proprietary methods of securing the boat to the falls. Most of these including the likes of Survival Craft Inspectorate, Harding Safety AS, Viking Group and others have been improving existing mechanisms and developing new versions that will meet the new requirements. Although most make use of a hook mechanism operated either by wire or hydraulics there is one developed by Nadiro that employs a system similar to that of a towing ball connection. SURVIVAL SPACE FOR ALL

The launching arrangements for survival craft are contained in SOLAS Chapter III Regulation 16 and the carriage requirements for passenger ships and cargo ships in Regulations 21 and 31 respectively. SOLAS requires that there be sufficient lifeboats on board passenger ships to accommodate all persons on board; half being placed on each side of the vessel. At the discretion of the flag state the lifeboat capacity on each side can be reduced to 37.5% of the total number on board with the shortfall being made up with liferafts. For passenger vessels on short international voyages, it is permissible for the lifeboat capacity to be reduced and replaced with liferafts. In all cases there must also be additional liferaft capacity to cover 25% of the total on board. For cargo vessels requirement is for a life boat on each side capable of carrying all persons on board and liferafts for the same number. If the liferafts can be transferred from side to side the requirement can be met with one set of liferafts. In case a stern free fall lifeboat is fitted the requirement for capacity for all on board on each side is removed. The requirement for liferafts remains unchanged. The liferaft or liferafts must be equipped with a lashing or an equivalent means of securing the liferaft which will automatically release it from a sinking ship. Cargo ships where the horizontal distance from the extreme end 30 | FEBRUARY 2014

THEREFORE THE NUMBER OF RELEASE MECHANISMS NEED REPLACEMENT COULD BE AS HIGH AS 100,000.


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LIFEBOATS & LIFERAFTS

of the stem or stern of the ship to the nearest end of the closest survival craft is more than 100 m shall carry, in addition to the liferafts mentioned, a liferaft stowed as far forward or aft, or one as far forward and another as far aft, as is reasonable and practicable. Such liferaft or liferafts may be securely fastened so as to permit manual release and need not be of the type which can be launched from an approved launching device. There are special requirements in SOLAS for certain vessel types when the normally required enclosed lifeboat is replaced by a more specialised alternative. Chemical tankers and gas carriers carrying cargoes emitting toxic vapours or gases require lifeboats with a self-contained air support system complying with the requirements of section 4.8 of the LSA Code. For oil tankers, chemical tankers and gas carriers carrying cargoes having a flashpoint not exceeding 60ºC (closed-cup test) the rule is for fire-protected lifeboats complying with the requirements of section 4.9 of the LSA Code. EQUIPPED FOR ANYTHING

Lifeboats are considered essential items of ships’ equipment and although there has been an extended period with few, if any, instances of crew having to survive for long periods in lifeboats there is no guarantee that this situation will continue. In the recent cases VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S

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32 | FEBRUARY 2014


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where lifeboats have been used in earnest their occupants have been picked up by search and rescue services or the boats have reached shore in a relatively short space of time. This has led some to question whether the equipment that is required by SOLAS to be carried by survival craft is still necessary or appropriate. It may seem odd that a ferry making voyages of only a few hours or less might be prevented from putting to sea because of missing or rusty fish hooks in the lifeboat emergency supplies but the debate is not likely to be settled on such issues. There may be a case for revisiting the emergency supplies that need to be carried and perhaps adding requirements for EPIRBS to be carried on all lifeboats rather than there being a need to take equipment from the bridge or elsewhere on the ship on board when evacuating. Although the issue has not yet been finalised and the IMO is still discussing the fine detail of its Polar Code, there is a good argument for ensuring lifeboats and emergency stores are suited to the environment for ships operating in Polar Regions. Some progress has been made in this regard and the IMO has debated and published a set of guidelines for ships but these are not yet mandatory. At least one maker has produced a purpose designed Polar liferaft. SEEING SENSE ON SERVICING

SOLAS requires all lifeboats, liferafts and launching apparatus to be serviced at regular intervals. During the mid-2000s the IMO issued guidelines and intended to make mandatory requirements for all LSAs to be serviced and repaired only by OEMs. There was much opposition to this from independent servicing organisations who argued that there competence had been proved over time and that not all OEMs were still in existence. The debate subsided after it was agreed that independent service providers could continue to operate either by becoming approved by the OEMs or recognised by flag states.

34 | FEBRUARY 2014

THIS HAS LED SOME TO QUESTION WHETHER THE EQUIPMENT THAT IS REQUIRED BY SOLAS TO BE CARRIED BY SURVIVAL CRAFT IS STILL NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE.


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 | CHAPTER 5: EVACUATION SYSTEMS

O

N A CARGO VESSEL WITH a crew that will rarely exceed 40 or even on an offshore ship with maybe 150-200 persons on board, evacuation in an emergency can be done quite rapidly using conventional lifeboats and liferafts but the same is not likely to be true for passenger vessels. Not only will there be many more persons to evacuate – maybe as many as 5,000 – but their mobility is likely to be less and with more people involved the potential for panic increases. In the 1990s, concurrent with the IMO’s Passenger Ship Safety initiative, a number of companies began developing rapid evacuation systems designed to speed up evacuation of large numbers of passengers from cruise ships and ferries. These marine evacuation systems or MES come in two basic varieties. Both make use of liferafts or platforms that are reached using either a slide or a chute. Early trials of the systems did highlight some problems with congestion in chutes and sadly some deaths did occur in trials. Lessons were learnt and the systems modified to remove the cause of the problems and the concept has since been approved by the IMO. Regulations are contained in both SOLAS and the LSA Code but approval to fit a system in place of required liferafts is required by the flag state. The liferafts used in conjunction with the MES are

36 | FEBRUARY 2014

VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S


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subject to the requirements of the LSA Code, Chapter 4, section 4.1 and 4.2. Examination requirements are in accordance with SOLAS chapter III/20.8 and Chapter 6 of the LSA code, 6.2 covers the MES specifically and in detail. Because an MES is designed for evacuation only, it cannot be recovered and re-stowed as could a lifeboat, nor is it possible for the system to be deployed for the purposes of passenger drills. This limitation is address in SOLAS chapter III/19.3.3.8 which says, “drills shall include exercising of the procedures required for deployment up to the point of actual deployment by the system party assigned to the MES.” An MES is usually housed in a container at the embarkation station and is activated by a crewmember. When activated the liferaft or platform deploys along with the connecting slide or chute. The slides are inflatable structure to give some rigidity while the chutes may or may not have inflating elements incorporated into their structure. Although the chutes appear to be steeper than the slides – often hanging vertically – there is not a direct drop inside as the internal structure makes use of a helical slide or baffles to slow the descent. When in use, some of the liferaft crew will descend to the liferaft to supervise and one or more will be stationed at the evacuation deck to assist passengers board. Although the systems are capable of evacuating passengers much faster than conventional davit launched liferafts, they can be daunting prospects for trepid passengers, chutes perhaps more so than slides. Crew trained in using the systems are given instruction in assisting passengers when needed. Since the first systems were developed, variations have been produced with mini versions designed for vessels with low embarkation decks. Some systems are fitted with a large capacity liferaft more than sufficient to accommodate all personnel onboard but others – and in particular the platform type – are designed to be stations for the vessel’s liferafts to moor to while passengers board at sea level. There are additional requirements in SOLAS for the size and characteristics of platforms intended to ensure they provide a secure and safe environment for evacuees. The number of companies

EARLY TRIALS OF THE SYSTEMS DID HIGHLIGHT SOME PROBLEMS WITH CONGESTION IN CHUTES AND SADLY SOME DEATHS DID OCCUR IN TRIALS. FEBRUARY 2014 | 37


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EVACUATION SYSTEMS

prducing the systems is quite small and is still in single figures. FUTURE HYBRID

In late 2013, a four year project by Viking concluded with the product launch of a hybrid lifesaving craft that combined the advantages of modern lifeboats - such as self-propelled manoeuvrability - with the flexibility, comfort and smaller footprint of today’s liferafts. The LifeCraft System consists of two main elements: The LifeCraft itself – a self-propelled inflatable vessel with four engines for a high degree of manoeuvrability and safety; and a storing and launching unit, either placed on deck or built in, containing up to four LifeCraft units with a capacity of 200 persons each - for a total capacity of 800 persons. According to Viking vice president Niels Fraende, this is a product that completely changes the lifeboat vs. liferaft discussion – at least when it comes to high-capacity evacuation systems. There are more advantages of this hybrid solution. For example, the new LifeCraft System is safe on an entirely new level, too. A specially designed chute system helps evacuees with special needs, such as children, the elderly and those on stretchers, setting a new standard for full-spectrum marine evacuation. The system also takes up less room than lifeboats, freeing up deck space allowing for more cabins and other facilities. LOOKING AHEAD

During the early years of the 21st century some bold new ideas for ensuring passenger safety were formulated and discussed. Among these were proposals for parts of a ship’s superstructure to act as self-contained ships-within-a-ship that would float free as the mother vessel foundered. Goal-based standards at the IMO and the risk-based approach of the EU’s Safedor project, as well as the IMO prescription that passengers should under most emergency circumstances affecting large passenger vessels remain protected in a safe area on board, may one day allow some of the more

38 | FEBRUARY 2014

THIS IS A PRODUCT THAT COMPLETELY CHANGES THE LIFEBOAT VS. LIFERAFT DISCUSSION.


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viking LiFe-saving equipmenT - Protecting people and business innovative schemes put forward to become reality. FEBRUARY 2014 Â | 39


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EVACUATION SYSTEMS

In 2006 MSC 82/12 agreed amendments to SOLAS (Chapter II-1 and Chapter II-2, Regulations 21- 22) applicable to passenger ships the keels of which were laid on or after 1 July 2010, having a length of 120 metres or more, or having three or more main vertical zones. The safe area requirements stipulate that the following basic services are to be available to ensure that the health of the passengers and crew is maintained as the ship proceeds to port: • Sanitation (Minimum one toilet required for every 50 persons or fraction thereof). • Water (Minimum 3 litres per person per day drinking water, plus water for food preparation and hygiene). • Food (can be of any kind including dry food). • Alternate space for medical care (The alternate space for medical care to be in a different MVZ than the hospital and to have lighting and power supply from the emergency source of power). • Shelter from the weather (Internal spaces required unless otherwise accepted by the Administration). • Means of preventing heat stress and hypothermia (Temperature within safe areas should be maintained in the range of 10° to 30°C). • Light (Portable rechargeable battery operated lighting may be acceptable for use in spaces not covered by the ship’s emergency lighting system). • Ventilation (Minimum ventilation volume available should be not less than 4,5m3/H per person).

To date, there have been no occasions when the safe area has been needed nor a major incident involving a vessel built to the new standards although there have been a number of incidents involving older vessels. The safe area regulation appears to have killed off further development of the ship-within-a-ship concept. The last of these – Norsafe’s Rescube – was still being promoted by the company in 2010 but has not so far attracted support from any ship operator.

40 | FEBRUARY 2014


THE MES YOU CAN DEPEND ON

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In 1992 Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA) pioneered a simple inclined slide based dry shod Marine Evacuation System (MES) designed to be simple to use and deliver passengers and crew, fast yet safe, directly into large capacity liferafts. Today LSA MES is world renowned for reliability and installed on all types and sizes of passenger & personnel carrying vessels, including conventional ferries, high-speed craft, cruise ships, military vessels and large private yachts.

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ďƒ¨ | CHAPTER 6: RESCUE CRAFT

I

N ADDITION TO THE LIFEBOATS and liferafts required by SOLAS, ships are also obliged to be equipped with a rescue boat. For some passenger vessels a fast rescue boat is stipulated. The prime purpose of the rescue boat is selfexplanatory and is the recovery of persons from the water. Under SOLAS they also have a secondary purpose and must be capable of marshalling and towing liferafts that would otherwise be left to drift helplessly. Rescue boats come in a variety of shapes and sizes and in rigid, inflatable and hybrid RIB types. A rescue boat may be between 3.8m and 8.5m in length and must be capable of accommodating at least five seated persons and a casualty on a standard SOLAS stretcher. The seating space may be on the floor of the craft for all but the helmsman but cannot be on the buoyancy tubes, gunwhales or transom. The power can be provided by a fixed engine or an outboard engine. There are several manufacturers active in producing rescue boats around the globe. SOLAS permits the rescue boat to count towards the lifeboat provision providing it meets the performance standards for both craft. Passenger vessels above 500gt are obliged to carry two rescue boats, one on either side of the vessel but passenger vessels below this size and cargo vessels need only carry one. Rescue boats must be equipped with certain items and stores needed for their recue 42 | FEBRUARY 2014

Harding Safety A/S


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role. If a boat is counted as both a rescue boat and a lifeboat it must be equipped with both sets of stores and capable of carrying out its rescue role with both sets onboard. The requirement to carry rescue boats was altered in 1989 when the IMO issued Resolution A.656(16) which recognised that fast rescue boats were being used in some offshore operations. The intent of the resolution was to set guideline standards for fast rescue boats which until then had not been codified. These guideline standards were later made mandatory. The main differences between a ‘slow’ and fast rescue boat is that the latter must be over 6m and under 8.5m in length and capable of operating at 20 knots during a 4 hour period using a petrol engine. The 20 knots requirement drops to 8 knots if the sea is not calm or if the craft is fully loaded. A fast rescue boat is also intended to be launched and retrieved under severe adverse weather (Beaufort 6 with 3m waves), and requires a special launching appliance. Under SOLAS rules it must also be either self-righting or capable of being righted manually by two persons. The rules also require that vessels obliged to carry a fast rescue boat must also have at least two specially trained crews available to man it. IMO has developed a model course for crew required to operate fast rescue boats and the training required is covered by STCW. Courses offered by most training establishments are three-day affairs much of which will be practical boat handling. What cannot be guaranteed is the opportunity to launch, operate and recover the boat in the adverse conditions which it must be capable of operating in. The requirement for ro-ro passenger vessels to carry fast rescue boats has not been without controversy. In the offshore sector, fast rescue boats are normally launched from and recovered to static rigs making the operations in adverse weather much safer than could be achieved on a vessel. Under adverse weather conditions a ship would be pitching and rolling with the very high possibility of the craft slamming against the ship side causing damage or death.

SOLAS PERMITS THE RESCUE BOAT TO COUNT TOWARDS THE LIFEBOAT PROVISION PROVIDING IT MEETS THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR BOTH CRAFT. FEBRUARY 2014 | 43


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

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RESCUE CRAFT

Critics also say that if there is a good case for fast rescue boats on ro-ro passenger vessels then the same arguments should apply to vessels that are not ro-ros. THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS

So said the Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle. Perhaps that is what Herkules Private Equity had in mind in 2013 when it acquired Umoe Schat-Harding AS and Noreq, both giants in the world of life saving equipment, and merged them into Harding - a single entity that is now the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of lifesaving equipment. Harding’s world is much more than just lifeboat manufacture – it encompasses every aspect of lifeboats including hooks, davits, inspection, servicing, refurbishment and repair and training. Harding says its ambition is to be in front and is already claiming the largest global service network. As a lifeboat designer and manufacturer, Harding has led the way and can claim several industry firsts including use of GRP and developing the free-fall lifeboat. Its free-fall lifeboats are standard requirements on many offshore facilities as well as ships. To complement its range of lifeboats, Harding also manufacturers and supplies a range of rescue boats in either GRP or aluminium to suit customer requirements. Harding has the issue around lifeboat hooks well in hand with its SeaCure release and retrieval mechanism comfortably exceeding IMO requirements. On the davit side, Harding has a unique offering in its compact davits in which all electrical and hydraulic components are contained inside the davit itself. Supplying products is only half the story as one of Harding’s great strengths is its servicing, repair and refurbishment network. With locations at various strategic sites around the globe, the company has trained staff able to work on its products and those from any other brands. To round of its impressive range of capabilities, Harding can arrange for training or personnel on site or in-house to suit customer requirements.

Harding Safety A/S

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ďƒ¨ | CHAPTER 7: SIGNALS AND MISCELLANEOUS

L

IFEBOATS, LIFERAFTS AND LIFEBUOYS may be the most obvious life-saving appliance but there are several other items of equipment which come under the general heading and which are included in the LSA Code and required under SOLAS. All ships are obliged to carry means of signalling such as flares and lights, embarkation ladders and a device for throwing lines. There are other items also required by SOLAS such as emergency escape breathing devices (EEBDs) which although of possible use in an evacuation are covered under the fire safety and fire-fighting provisions of SOLAS and thus outside the scope of this guide. When a ship is in distress alerting potential rescuers is first done using the ship’s GMDSS equipment. For cases where this is impossible and also for attracting attention of search and rescue aircraft and ships the use of pyrotechnics is called for. The red distress flare is the most useful for attraction attention over a distance with hand flares and smoke being used for shorter distances. A rocket parachute flare can be seen from a distance of up to 30 miles under optimum conditions at night and from 8 nautical miles during daylight. SOLAS requires ships to maintain a stock of at least 12 flares on the bridge and no less than four in each lifeboat or liferaft.

46 | FEBRUARY 2014

Drew Marine Signal & Safety UK Ltd.


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Hand-held flares and smoke signals have a much shorter range and are intended to allow search and rescue craft to pinpoint the position of any survival craft. Each lifeboat or liferaft should be equipped with six hand flares and two buoyant smoke signals as well as an electric torch with spare batteries and bulbs suitable for Morse signalling. Also in the survival craft should be a signalling mirror, whistle and a copy of the life-saving signals on a waterproof card. Pyrotechnics have an expiry date and should be replaced before they expire. Failure to have sufficient pyrotechnics on board and in survival craft will cause a ship to be detained by PSC inspectors. When needed pyrotechnics should only be used when there is reasonably good chance that they will be seen. Parachute flares burn for a minimum of 40 seconds falling from a height of about 300metres. Instructions for use should be printed on the flare and also presented in a picture format. Hand flares are used to guide the searching ship or aircraft or pinpoint the survivors’ position. They burn for a minimum of one minute and are ideal for day or night use and have a range of five nautical miles by day and 10 nautical miles at night. Smoke signals are used to pinpoint the survivors’ position. The smoke signal’s use to raise an alarm is doubtful. They will be more readily seen from an aircraft than a surface craft. They are for daytime use only and smoke for a minimum of three minutes. Their range is at the most about two to three nautical miles in good visibility. Passing a line to a person in the water or across to another vessel is often essential in emergencies so it is not surprising that there is a mandatory requirement to carry a line-throwing appliance. SOLAS says that the line thrower should: • be capable of throwing a line with reasonable accuracy; • include not less than four projectiles each capable of carrying the line at least 230m in calm weather;

EARLY TRIALS OF THE SYSTEMS DID HIGHLIGHT SOME PROBLEMS WITH CONGESTION IN CHUTES AND SADLY SOME DEATHS DID OCCUR IN TRIALS. FEBRUARY 2014 | 47


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SIGNALS AND MISCELLANEOUS

• include not less than four lines each having a breakingstrength of not less than 2 kN; • have brief instructions or diagrams clearly illustrating the use of the line-throwing appliance.

The rocket, in the case of a pistol-fired rocket, or the assembly, in the case of an integral rocket and line, shall be contained in a water resistant casing. In addition, in the case of a pistol-fired rocket, the line and rockets together with the means of ignition shall be stowed in a container which provides protection from the weather. There are a number of line throwing devices that meet SOLAS requirements and also have enhanced features. The ResQmax for example, is a compressed-air powered device that as well as the standard line throwing projectile can be used to fire an automatically inflating flotation collar to a person in the water. In addition the standard projectile can be swapped for a phosphorescent projectile for night use. Restech in Norway produce a similar pneumatic powered device with alternative projectiles beyond the standard SOLAS required version. Lifeboats, liferafts and evacuation systems are intended to be used from the embarkation deck. However, there will be occasions when a ladder may be the only means of reaching the water other than jumping from the ship. Ladders also have other uses as was clearly demonstrated by the images of the Costa Concordia that were flashed around the world. After the ship had listed so far to starboard, the only means of reaching survival craft from the port side involved survivors making their way down the hull. The ladders secured to the rails and thrown down the hull provided some measure of safety and for the survivors. SOLAS requires handholds be provided to ensure a safe passage from the deck to the head of the ladder and vice versa. It also covers the construction of the ladder saying the steps of it shall be: 48 | FEBRUARY 2014

IN ADDITION THE STANDARD PROJECTILE CAN BE SWAPPED FOR A PHOSPHORESCENT PROJECTILE FOR WNIGHT USE.


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SIGNALS AND MISCELLANEOUS

• made of hardwood, free from knots or other irregularities, smoothly machined and free from sharp edges and splinters, or of suitable material of equivalent properties; • provided with an efficient nonslip surface either by longitudinal grooving or by the application of an approved nonslip coating; • not less than 480 mm long, 115 mm wide and 25 mm in depth, excluding any nonslip surface or coating; • equally spaced, not less than 300 mm or more than 380 mm apart and secured in such a manner that they will remain horizontal.

The side ropes of the ladder must consist of two uncovered manila ropes not less than 65 mm in circumference on each side. Each rope is to be continuous with no joints below the top step. Other materials may be used provided the dimensions, breaking strain, weathering, stretching and gripping properties are at least equivalent to those of manila rope. All rope ends shall be secured to prevent unravelling. McMurdo Smartfind S10 AIS Beacon

50 | FEBRUARY 2014


smm-hamburg.com

53°

33

ham‘ 47“ N, 9° 58 ‘ bur g 3 3“ E

keeping the course 9 – 12 september 2014 hamburg the leading international maritime trade fair new in 2014: the SMM theme days

8 sept

finance day

9 sept

environmental protection day

10 sept

security and defence day

11 sept

offshore day

12 sept

recruiting day

scan the QR code and view the trailer or visit smm-hamburg.com/trailer

FEBRUARY 2014 | 51


SAFETY AND SURVIVAL 1

Our worldwide safety specialists keeping your vessels fully compliant FULL PAGE ADVERTISEMENT and on the move

OPTIMISING PERFORMANCE

Your fleet is only creating value when it’s at sea. That’s why our safety services and Unitor products are designed to keep your fleet on the move. Our technical specialists are trained and certified to ensure your fleet is compliant. Ask for our product catalogue to learn more about the Unitor safety portfolio including fire, personal protection, lifesaving and environmental products. Safety solutions, done better. 52 | FEBRUARY 2014

MARINE PRODUCTS MARINE CHEMICALS SAFETY MARITIME LOGISTICS SHIPS AGENCY wilhelmsen.com/shipsservice

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Safety and Survival Part 1  

The guide will examine the regulations and carriage requirements and will highlight important topics of current concern. Lifeboats, liferaft...

Safety and Survival Part 1  

The guide will examine the regulations and carriage requirements and will highlight important topics of current concern. Lifeboats, liferaft...

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