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Marine Notices 2009


Marine Notice No. 37 of 2009 - Amendments to Chapter III of SOLAS 1974
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26 August 2009


To view this Marine Notice in full (including annexes), click on the links below.

This Marine Notice Supersedes Marine Notice No. 5 of 2007


Marine Notice 5 of 2007 was issued in response to The Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO amendments to Chapter III of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, which entered into force on 1 July 2006. 

Further amendments to SOLAS Chapter III entered into force on 1st January 2009 and Marine Notice 5 of 2007 is hereby withdrawn and replaced by this update.

In addition, the Maritime Safety Committee approved Measures to Prevent Accidents with Lifeboats (MSC.1/Circ1206/Rev.1).  The purpose of these guidelines is to establish a uniform, safe and documented performance of periodic servicing and maintenance of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear.  Further information and recommendations on service providers for lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear was approved by the Maritime Safety Committee in May of 2008 (MSC.1/Circ.1277)

The purpose of this notice is to notify the industry of these amendments and to further clarify the maintenance and inspection requirements for launching appliances and on-load release gear which is contained in the MSC guidelines.

Copies of the consolidated amendments and the parts of the guidelines relevant to this Marine Notice are attached at Annex 1 (SOLAS),   Annex 2 (MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1) and Annex 3 (MSC.1/Circ.1277) respectively.  Full copies of the IMO circulars are available at

In accordance with the MSC Guidelines the Marine Survey Office requires that the thorough examination, operational testing, repair, and overhaul of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gear is carried out in accordance with SOLAS regulation III/20 by service providers authorized by them that are qualified in these operations for each make and type of equipment for which they provide the service. 
Service agents in Ireland are invited to apply to the Marine Survey Office for authorisation to carry out this work.  Where examination and testing is carried out on Irish flag vessels by service providers situated in other countries, the Marine Survey Office may accept or recognize service providers authorized, checked or inspected by surveyors nominated for the purpose by recognised organizations or by other SOLAS Contracting Governments.

The amendments mean that in addition to any onboard maintenance and checks the following is required:

A thorough examination of lifeboats, launching appliances and on-load release gears every year carried out by or in the presence of an authorised person. 

Every five years in addition to the yearly requirement - a dynamic brake test of the winch and an overhaul of on-load release gears and liferaft automatic release hooks carried out by authorised personnel.  On load release gear for lifeboats includes those fitted to free fall lifeboats.

Regulation 19 - Emergency training and drills
This amendment is self-explanatory and needs no further clarification.

Regulation 20 - Operational readiness, maintenance and inspections
The majority of this amendment is self-explanatory.
The amended paragraph 11 of SOLAS regulation III/20 applies to launching appliances as defined in Regulation 3.  A Launching appliance or arrangement is a means of transferring a survival craft or rescue boat from its stowed position safely to the water.  A survival craft is a craft capable of sustaining the lives of persons in distress from the time of abandoning ship.
Therefore, when carrying out the thorough examination required by paragraph 11.1.2, on lifeboats, the guidelines of MSC/Circ.1206/Rev.1 are to be used.  These supersede MSC/Circ.1093
Bearing in mind the requirement of paragraph 3.1 of this regulation, it is strongly recommended that MSC/Circ.1206/Rev.1 also be used when developing ISM procedures for the periodic servicing and maintenance of lifesaving appliances

Regulation 32 - Personal life-saving appliances
This amendment is self-explanatory and needs no further clarification.

Director General
Maritime Safety Directorate
Department of Transport
Leeson Lane
Dublin 2