485 - 09/06 - Measures to Prevent Accidents with Lifeboats - Worldwide


Members attention is drawn to a draft Marine Guidance Note (MGN) published by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), which compiles current guidance on the safe servicing, maintenance, and drilling of lifeboats.

The MCA states in the MGN that in recent years the Maritime Industry has suffered an unacceptably high number of accidents with lifeboats in which crew were injured, sometimes fatally, whilst participating in lifeboat drills and/or inspections, and noted that most accidents fell under the following categories

  • Failure of on-load release mechanism
  • Inadvertent operation of on-load release mechanism
  • Inadequate maintenance of lifeboats, davits and launching equipment
  • Communication failures
  • Lack of familiarity with lifeboats, davits, equipment and associated controls
  • Unsafe practices during lifeboat drills and inspections
  • Design faults other than on-load release mechanisms

In response to these concerns, the MCA has written the guidelines of the MGN based on guidance relating to the safe servicing, maintenance and drilling of lifeboats published by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). 


Staff Author