A decision to withdraw type approval from lifejackets involved in the Norwegian Sleipner fast ferry disaster, when passengers reportedly were struggling to fit them properly, raises some important safety questions. Bureau Veritas approved the equipment in the first place on behalf of the UK after it passed the standard tests in a laboratory of Italian counterpart, RINA.
It is understood that only 700 of the Italian-made jackets were sold or ordered, and they have now been called in for further scrutiny at RINA. With recently-manufactured lifejackets as the subject of doubts, questions arise as to the reliability of older lifesaving gear stowed on board many of the world's vessels.
Source: Lloyd's List (14 February, 2000)