The Association would like to inform its Members of a recent circular released by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) concerning lifeboat launching arrangements. The IMO has moved to clarify SOLAS regulation III/188.8.131.52 following some confusion over whether crew are required to be onboard lifeboats during launching; this bulletin presents a summary of the information.
Each lifeboat is required to be launched and manoeuvred in the water at least once every three months as part of an abandon ship drill under SOLAS regulation III/184.108.40.206. When in the water the boat is required to be manoeuvred by its operating crew but the crew is not required to be onboard when the lifeboat is launched.
The circular released by the IMO provides clear interpretation of the regulation and the Club would advise Members to follow this procedure unless the Master considers it necessary for the crew to be onboard during launching and has considered all aspects of safety.
The IMO circular can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
Source of information:
International Maritime Organisation