- Every liferaft shall be so constructed as to be capable of withstanding exposure for 30 days afloat in all sea conditions.
- The liferaft shall be so constructed that when it is dropped into the water from a height of 18 m, the life raft and its equipment will operate satisfactorily. If the life raft is to be stowed at a height of more than 18 m above the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition, it shall be of a type which has been satisfactorily drop-tested from at least that height.
- The floating life raft shall be capable of withstanding repeated jumps onto it from a height of at least 4.5 m above its floor both with and without the canopy erected.
- The life raft and its fittings shall be so constructed as to enable it to be towed at a speed of 3 knots in calm water when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment and with one of its sea-anchors streamed.
- The liferaft shall have a canopy to protect the occupants from exposure which is automatically set in place when the life raft is launched and waterborne.
- No life raft shall be approved which has a carrying capacity of less than six persons
- Unless the life raft is to be launched by an approved launching appliance or is not required to be stowed in a position providing for easy side-to-side transfer, the total mass of the life raft, its container and its equipment shall not be more than 185 kg. The liferaft shall be fitted with an efficient painter of length equal to not less than 10 m plus the distance from the stowed position to the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition or 15 m whichever is the greater.
In addition to the above requirements, a life raft for use with an approved launching appliance shall:
- When the life raft is loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment, be capable of withstanding a lateral impact against the ship’s side at an impact velocity of not less than 3.5 m/s and also a drop into the water from a height of not less than 3 m without damage that will affect its function;
- Be provided with means for bringing the life raft alongside the embarkation deck and holding it securely during embarkation.
Every passenger ship davit-launched liferaft shall be so arranged that it can be rapidly boarded by its full complement of persons.
Every cargo ship davit-launched liferaft shall be so arranged that it can be boarded by its full complement of persons in not more than 3 min from the time the instruction to board is given.
The marking required on life rafts equipped in accordance with LSA code regulation 18.104.22.168 (equipment contained in a liferaft-find below) shall be “SOLAS A PACK” in block capitals of the Roman alphabet.
In the case of passenger ships engaged on short international voyages of such a nature and duration that, in the opinion of the Administration, not all the items specified in paragraph 22.214.171.124 are necessary, and “SOLAS B PACK” should be marked in block capitals of the Roman alphabet on the liferaft.
The life raft painter system shall provide a connection between the ship and the life raft and shall be so arranged as to ensure that the life raft when released and, in the case of an inflatable life raft, inflated is not dragged under by the sinking ship.
If a weak link is used in the float-free arrangement, it shall:
- Not be broken by the force required to pull the painter from the life raft container;
- If applicable, be of sufficient strength to permit the inflation of the life raft; and
- Break under a strain of 2.2 ± 0.4 kN.
The life raft shall be packed in a container that is:
- So constructed as to withstand hard wear under conditions encountered at sea;
- Of sufficient inherent buoyancy, when packed with the life raft and its equipment, to pull the painter from within and to operate the inflation mechanism should the ship sink;
- As far as practicable watertight, except for drain holes in the container bottom.
The container shall be marked with:
- Maker’s name or trade mark;
- Serial number;
- Name of approving authority and the number of persons it is permitted to carry;
- SOLAS type of emergency pack enclosed;
- Date when last serviced;
- Length of painter;
- Maximum permitted height of stowage above waterline (depending on drop-test height and length of painter;
- Launching instructions.
The normal equipment of every liferaft shall consist of (Regulation 126.96.36.199)
- one buoyant rescue quoit, attached to not less than 30 m of a buoyant line;
- one knife of the non-folding type having a buoyant handle and lanyard attached and stowed in a pocket on the exterior of the canopy near the point at which the painter is attached to the liferaft. In addition, a liferaft which is permitted to accommodate 13 persons or more shall be provided with a second knife which need not be of the non-folding type;
- for a liferaft which is permitted to accommodate not more than 12 persons, one buoyant bailer. For a liferaft which is permitted to accommodate 13 persons or more, two buoyant bailers;
- two sponges;
- two sea-anchors each with a shock resistant hawser and tripping line if fitted, one being spare and the other permanently attached to the liferaft in such a way that when the liferaft inflates or is waterborne it will cause the liferaft to lie oriented to the wind in the most stable manner. The strength of each sea-anchor and its hawser and tripping line if fitted shall be adequate in all sea conditions. The sea-anchors shall have means to prevent twisting of the line and shall be of a type which is unlikely to turn inside out between its shroud lines. The sea-anchor permanently attached to davit-launched liferafts and liferafts fitted on passenger ships shall be arranged for manual deployment only. All other liferafts are to have the sea-anchor deployed automatically when the liferaft inflates;
- two buoyant paddles;
- three tin-openers and a pair of scissors. Safety knives containing special tin- opener blades are satisfactory for this requirement;
- one first-aid outfit in a waterproof case capable of being closed tightly after use;
- one whistle or equivalent sound signal;
- four rocket parachute flares;
- six hand flares;
- two buoyant smoke signals;
- one waterproof electric torch suitable for Morse signalling together with one
- spare set of batteries and one spare bulb in a waterproof container;
- an efficient radar reflector, unless a survival craft radar transponder is stowed in the liferaft;
- one daylight signalling mirror with instructions on its use for signalling to ships and aircraft;
- one copy of the life-saving signals on a waterproof card or in a waterproof container;
- one set of fishing tackle;
- a food ration totalling not less than 10,000 kJ for each person the liferaft is permitted to accommodate. These rations should be palatable, edible throughout the recommended shelf life, and packed in a manner which can be readily divided and easily opened. The rations shall be kept in airtight packaging and be stowed in a watertight container;
- Watertight receptacles containing a total of 1.5 l of fresh water for each person the liferaft is permitted to accommodate, of which either 0.5 l per person may be replaced by a de-salting apparatus capable of producing an equal amount of fresh water in 2 days or 1 l one rustproof graduated drinking vessel;
- anti-seasickness medicine sufficient for a least 48 h and one seasickness bag for each person the liferaft is permitted to accommodate;
- instructions on how to survive;
- instructions for immediate action; and
- thermal protective aids sufficient for 10% of the number of persons the liferaft is permitted to accommodate or two, whichever is the greater.
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