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  Tonnage Rules        


Legislative Requirements




Certificated person is a person who holds a certificate of proficiency in survival craft issued under the authority of, or recognized as valid by, the Administration in accordance with the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers, in force; or a person who holds a certificate issued or recognized by the Administration of a State not a Party to that Convention for the same purpose as the convention certificate.

Float-free launching is that method of launching a survival craft whereby the craft is automatically released from a sinking ship and is ready for use.

Free-fall launching is that method of launching a survival craft whereby the craft with its complement of persons and equipment on board is released and allowed to fall into the sea without any restraining apparatus.

Inflatable appliance is an appliance which depends upon non-rigid, gasfilled chambers for buoyancy and which is normally kept uninflated until ready for use.

Inflated appliance is an appliance which depends upon non-rigid, gasfilled chambers for buoyancy and which is kept inflated and ready for use at all times.

Launching appliance or arrangement is a means of transferring a survival craft or rescue boat from its stowed position safely to the water.

Rescue boat is a boat designed to rescue persons in distress and to marshal survival craft.

Survival craft is a craft capable of sustaining the lives of persons in distress from the time of abandoning the ship.

Life-saving appliances and arrangements required by this chapter shall be approved by the Administration.  Before accepting life-saving appliances and arrangements that have not been previously approved by the Administration, the Administration shall be satisfied that life-saving appliances and arrangements comply with the requirements of this chapter and the Code.

Life-saving appliances required for which detailed specifications are not included in the Code shall be to the satisfaction of the Administration.

Muster list and emergency instructions

1 This regulation applies to all ships.

2 Clear instructions to be followed in the event of an emergency shall be provided for every person on board. In the case of passenger ships these instructions shall be drawn up in the language or languages required by the ship’s flag State and in the English language.

3 Muster lists and emergency instructions shall be exhibited in conspicuous places throughout the ship including the navigation bridge, engine-room and crew accommodation spaces.

4 Illustrations and instructions in appropriate languages shall be posted in passenger cabins and be conspicuously displayed at muster stations and other passenger spaces to inform passengers of:

.1 their muster station;

.2 the essential actions they must take in an emergency; and .3 the method of donning lifejackets.

Operating instructions

1 This regulation applies to all ships.

2 Posters or signs shall be provided on or in the vicinity of survival craft and their launching controls and shall:

.1 illustrate the purpose of controls and the procedures for operating the appliance and give relevant instructions or warnings;

.2 be easily seen under emergency lighting conditions; and

.3 use symbols in accordance with the recommendations of the Organization.

Survival craft muster and embarkation arrangements

1 Lifeboats and liferafts for which approved launching appliances are required shall be stowed as close to accommodation and service spaces as possible.

2 Muster stations shall be provided close to the embarkation stations.  Each muster station shall have sufficient clear deck space to accommodate all persons assigned to muster at that station, but at least 0.35 m2 per person. 

3 Muster and embarkation stations shall be readily accessible from accommodation and work areas.

4 Muster and embarkation stations shall be adequately illuminated by lighting supplied from the emergency source of electrical power.

5 Alleyways, stairways and exits giving access to the muster and embarkation stations shall be lighted. Such lighting shall be capable of being supplied by the emergency source of electrical power. In addition to and as part of the markings, routes to muster stations shall be indicated with the muster station symbol, intended for that purpose, in accordance with the recommendations of the Organization.

6 Davit-launched and free-fall launched survival craft muster and embarkation stations shall be so arranged as to enable stretcher cases to be placed in survival craft.

7 An embarkation ladder extending, in a single length, from the deck to the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition under unfavourable conditions of trim of up to 10 and a list of up to 20 either way shall be provided at each embarkation station or at every two adjacent embarkation stations for survival craft launched down the side of the ship. However, the Administration may permit such ladders to be replaced by approved devices to afford access to the survival craft when waterborne, provided that there shall be at least one embarkation ladder on each side of the ship. Other means of embarkation enabling descent to the water in a controlled manner may be permitted for the liferafts. 

8 Where necessary, means shall be provided for bringing the davit launched survival craft against the ship’s side and holding them alongside so that persons can be safely embarked.

Emergency training and drills

1 This regulation applies to all ships.

2 Familiarity with safety installations and practice musters

Every crewmember with assigned emergency duties shall be familiar with these duties before the voyage begins.

On a ship engaged on a voyage where passengers are scheduled to be on board for more than 24 h, musters of the passengers shall take place within 24 h after their embarkation. Passengers shall be instructed in the use of the lifejackets and the action to take in an emergency.

Whenever new passengers embark, a passenger safety briefing shall be given immediately before sailing, or immediately after sailing. The briefing shall include the instructions as stated in SOLAS, and shall be made by means of an announcement, in one or more languages likely to be understood by the passengers. The announcement shall be made on the ship’s public address system, or by other equivalent means likely to be heard at least by the passengers who have not yet heard it during the voyage. The briefing may be included in the muster, if the muster is held immediately upon departure. Information cards or posters or video programme displayed on ships video displays may be used to supplement the briefing, but may not be used to replace the announcement.


Drills shall, as far as practicable, be conducted as if there were an actual emergency.

Every crew member shall participate in at least one abandon ship drill and one fire drill every month. The drills of the crew shall take place within 24 h of the ship leaving a port if more than 25% of the crew have not participated in abandon ship and fire drills on board that particular ship in the previous month. When a ship enters service for the first time, after modification of a major character or when a new crew is engaged, these drills shall be held before sailing. The Administration may accept other arrangements that are at least equivalent for those classes of ships for which this is impracticable.

Abandon ship drill

Each abandon ship drill shall include:

.1 summoning of passengers and crew to muster stations with the alarm followed by drill announcement on the public address or other communication system and ensuring that they are made aware of the order to abandon ship;

.2 reporting to stations and preparing for the duties described in the muster list;

.3 checking that passengers and crew are suitably dressed;

.4 checking that lifejackets are correctly donned;

.5 lowering of at least one lifeboat after any necessary preparation for launching;

.6 starting and operating the lifeboat engine;

.7 operation of davits used for launching liferafts;

.8 a mock search and rescue of passengers trapped in their staterooms; and

.9 instruction in the use of radio life-saving appliances.

Different lifeboats shall, as far as practicable, be lowered at successive drills.

Except as provided, each lifeboat shall be launched with its assigned operating crew aboard and manoeuvred in the water at least once every three months during an abandon ship drill.

Lowering into the water, rather than launching of a lifeboat arranged for free-fall launching, is acceptable where free-fall launching is impracticable provided the lifeboat is free-fall launched with its assigned operating crew aboard and manoeuvred in the water at least once every six months.  However, in cases where it is impracticable, the Administration may extend this period to 12 months provided that arrangements are made for simulated launching which will take place at intervals of not more than six months.

The Administration may allow ships operating on short international voyages not to launch the lifeboats on one side if their berthing arrangements in port and their trading patterns do not permit launching of lifeboats on that side. However, all such lifeboats shall be lowered at least once every three months and launched at least annually.

As far as is reasonable and practicable, rescue boats other than lifeboats which are also rescue boats, shall be launched each month with their assigned crew aboard and manoeuvred in the water. In all cases this requirement shall be complied with at least once every three months.

If lifeboat and rescue boat launching drills are carried out with the ship making headway, such drills shall, because of the dangers involved, be practiced in sheltered waters only and under the supervision of an officer experienced in such drills.

If a ship is fitted with marine evacuation systems, drills shall include exercising of the procedures required for the deployment of such a system up to the point immediately preceding actual deployment of the system.  This aspect of drills should be augmented by regular instruction using the on-board training aids.

Additionally every system party member shall, as far as practicable, be further trained by participation in a full deployment of a similar system into water, either on board a ship or ashore, at intervals of not longer than two years, but in no case longer than three years. This training can be associated with the deployments.

Emergency lighting for mustering and abandonment shall be tested at each abandon ship drill.

Training manual and on-board training aids

1 This regulation applies to all ships.

2 A training manual shall be provided in each crew mess room and recreation room or in each crew cabin.

3 The training manual, which may comprise several volumes, shall contain instructions and information, in easily understood terms illustrated wherever possible, on the life-saving appliances provided in the ship and on the best methods of survival. Any part of such information may be provided in the form of audio-visual aids in lieu of the manual. The following shall be explained in detail:

.1 donning of lifejackets, immersion suits and anti-exposure suits, as appropriate;

.2 muster at the assigned stations;

.3 boarding, launching, and clearing the survival craft and rescue boats, including, where applicable, use of marine evacuation systems;

.4 method of launching from within the survival craft;

.5 release from launching appliances;

.6 methods and use of devices for protection in launching areas, where appropriate;

.7 illumination in launching areas;

.8 use of all survival equipment;

.9 use of all detection equipment;

.10 with the assistance of illustrations, the use of radio life-saving appliances;

.11 use of drogues;

.12 use of engine and accessories;

.13 recovery of survival craft and rescue boats including stowage and securing;

.14 hazards of exposure and the need for warm clothing;

.15 best use of the survival craft facilities in order to survive;

.16 methods of retrieval, including the use of helicopter rescue gear (slings, baskets, stretchers), breeches-buoy and shore life-saving apparatus and ship’s line-throwing apparatus;

.17 all other functions contained in the muster list and emergency instructions; and

.18 instructions for emergency repair of the life-saving appliances.

4 Every ship fitted with a marine evacuation system shall be provided with on-board training aids in the use of the system.

On-board training and instructions

On-board training in the use of the ship’s life-saving appliances, including survival craft equipment, and in the use of the ship’s fire extinguishing appliances shall be given as soon as possible but not later than two weeks after a crew member joins the ship. However, if the crew member is on a regularly scheduled rotating assignment to the ship, such training shall be given not later than two weeks after the time of first joining the ship. Instructions in the use of the ship’s fire-extinguishing appliances, life-saving appliances, and in survival at sea shall be given at the same interval as the drills. Individual instruction may cover different parts of the ship’s life-saving and fire-extinguishing appliances, but all the ship’s life-saving and fire-extinguishing appliances shall be covered within any period of two months.

Every crew member shall be given instructions which shall include:

                                 i.                     operation and use of the ship’s inflatable liferafts;

                               ii.                     problems of hypothermia, first-aid treatment for hypothermia and other appropriate first-aid procedures;

                              iii.                     special instructions necessary for use of the ship’s life-saving appliances in severe weather and severe sea conditions; and operation and use of fire-extinguishing appliances.

On-board training in the use of davit-launched liferafts shall take place at intervals of not more than four months on every ship fitted with such appliances. Whenever practicable this shall include the inflation and lowering of a liferaft. This liferaft may be a special liferaft intended for training purposes only, which is not part of the ship’s life-saving equipment; such a special liferaft shall be conspicuously marked.


The date when musters are held, details of abandon ship drills and fire drills, drills of other life-saving appliances and on board training shall be recorded in such log-book as may be prescribed by the Administration. If a full muster, drill or training session is not held at the appointed time, an entry shall be made in the log-book stating the circumstances and the extent of the muster, drill or training session held.

Operational readiness, maintenance and inspections

This regulation applies to all ships.

Before the ship leaves port and at all times during the voyage, all life-saving appliances shall be in working order and ready for immediate use.


Instructions for on-board maintenance of life-saving appliances complying shall be provided and maintenance shall be carried out accordingly.

The Administration may accept, in lieu of the instructions, a shipboard planned maintenance programme.

Maintenance of falls

Falls used in launching shall be turned end for end at intervals of not more than 30 months and be renewed when necessary due to deterioration of the falls or at intervals of not more than five years, whichever is the earlier.

The Administration may accept in lieu of the “end for ending”, periodic inspection of the falls and their renewal whenever necessary due to deterioration or at intervals of not more than four years, whichever one is earlier.

Spares and repair equipment shall be provided for life-saving appliances and their components, which are subject to excessive wear or consumption and need to be replaced regularly.

Weekly inspection

The following tests and inspections shall be carried out weekly:

All survival craft, rescue boats and launching appliances shall be visually inspected to ensure that they are ready for use;

All engines in lifeboats and rescue boats shall be run for a total period of not less than 3 min provided the ambient temperature is above the minimum temperature required for starting and running the engine. During this period of time, it should be demonstrated that the gear box and gear box train are engaging satisfactorily. If the special characteristics of an outboard motor fitted to a rescue boat would not allow it to be run other than with its propeller submerged for a period of 3 min, it should be run for such period as prescribed in the manufacturer’s handbook.

The general emergency alarm system shall be tested.

Monthly inspections

Inspection of the life-saving appliances, including lifeboat equipment, shall be carried out monthly using the checklist to ensure that they are complete and in good order. A report of the inspection shall be entered in the log-book.

Every inflatable liferaft, inflatable lifejacket, and marine evacuation system shall be serviced:

At intervals not exceeding 12 months, provided where in any case this is impracticable, the Administration may extend this period to 17 months; and at an approved servicing station

Passenger Ships

Muster stations

Every passenger ship shall, have passenger muster stations which shall:

                                 i.                     be in the vicinity of, and permit ready access for the passengers to, the embarkation stations unless in the same location; and

                               ii.                     have ample room for marshalling and instruction of the passengers, but at least 0.35 m2 per passenger.


On passenger ships, an abandon ship drill and fire drill shall take place weekly. The entire crew need not be involved in every drill, but each crew member must participate in an abandon ship drill and a fire drill each month . Passengers shall be strongly encouraged to attend these drills.