Based on the 2009 amendments issued by Maritime Safety Committee to MSC.1/Circ. 1206 about the inspection and maintenance of lifeboats, including appliances and on-load release gear, St.Vincent and the Grenadines Maritime Administration informs that from January 1, 2020, the examination, operational testing, repair and overhaul of the lifeboats has to be in line with SOLAS regulation III/20 by service providers authorized in accordance with section 7 of MSC.402(96).
Recently, IACS updated unified requirements related to approval of service suppliers and adopted, which will come into force from 1 January 2020, but may apply before the effective date upon the request.
According to the alert, stakeholders and interested parties are obliged to inspect and maintain, weekly and monthly, as stated in the equipment maintenance manual(s) should be conducted under the direct supervision of a senior ship’s officer in accordance with the maintenance manual.
The Administration accepts service providers authorized, checked or inspected by Recognized Organizations or by other SOLAS Contracting Governments.
Moreover, the examination, operational testing, repairs and overhaul of lifeboats have to be conducted according to SOLAS regulation III/20 by service providers that are qualified in these operations for each make and type of equipment. In the meantime, the service providers that conduct the examination, operational testing, repairs, overhaul of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear should be authorized in accordance with MSC.1/Circ.1277 until 31st December 2019.
In the meantime, the confirmation that the lifeboat arrangements, issued by the service provider who performed the work are according to the regulations, have to be issued to the ship’s Classification Society Shipowners, Ships’ Operators and Managers; The latter is recommended to consult their Recognized Organizations and to prepare for the new requirements by establishing an overview of authorized service providers in relevant areas prior to the requirement entering into force on 1 January 2020.
In 2017, the IMO updated the guidelines on preventing lifeboat drills accidents aiming to decrease this kind of accidents.