In April 2003 Lloyd’s Register started a series of Classification News releases designed to help owners and operators reduce the likelihood of their ships being subject to a port state control (PSC) detention and so avoid unnecessary downtime and associated costs. The current release in this series deals with life saving appliances. Problems found with lifeboats accounted for 116 of the total number of deficiencies found on Lloyd’s Register classed ships during 2002, which, in the majority of cases led to the vessel being detained.
Many lifeboat deficiencies were found including inoperable engine, boat not ready for use due to damage or seized equipment or obstructions to the boat while launching and boat not being marked properly. The number of ships detained by PSC inspections would be significantly reduced by minimising the above issues, and the following advice is given in addition to any standing instructions onboard:
- ensure that lifeboat engines are started and run regularly PRIOR to arrival in port and that the gearbox engages both forward and astern
- remove anything that may obstruct launching of the lifeboat
- ensure that lifeboats are correctly marked
- grease lifeboat davit sheaves and wires correctly.
The following items also feature highly in the life saving appliances category (the number of deficiencies found on Lloyd’s Register classed ships during 2002, is shown in parenthesis):
- lifebuoys (55)
- lifeboat inventory (54)
- launching arrangements for survival craft (39).