Many a times, routine lifeboat drills and maintenance result in personnel’s injury and even death. The Japan P&I Club focuses on fall preventer devices, their usage so that lifeboat release and the retrieval systems must comply with LSA Code.
Japan P&I Club, has involved with underwriting P&I insurance for both ocean-going vessels and Japanese coastal vessels, and has taken up the task of minimizing or reducing the errors caused by the vessel’s crew during the lifeboat release and their retrieval systems. The club has released a document focusing on the probable defects and the measures to prevent such accidents in the future. Many of such accidents are caused due to lack of maintenance, poor design or inadequate training. Sometimes, an even botch of equipment can result in the early opening of the on-load hook mechanism, causing the lifeboat to fall all of a sudden and cause a major accident.
The international shipping industry associations and UK government in the year 2000 analyzed lifeboat accidents and prepared a report on the causes of such accidents. The finding of the report suggested a new design criteria for on-load release hooks and training, testing and maintenance procedures on vessels including the prevention of a lifeboat inadvertently falling from a ship. As a result, amendments were made to SOLAS III/1.5 and they were adopted by IMO MSC89 in May 2011. These amendments necessitated that the lifeboat release and the retrieval systems (LRRS) should comply with LSA Code IV amended by Res.MSC.320(89) not later than the next scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2014, and not later than 1 July 2019.
Furthermore, Fall Preventer Devices (FPDs) are required to undergo necessary design review and performance test. They need to either confirm compliant with the relevant requirements of the revised LSA Code or replace with compliant devices. However, some defects have been detected in FPDs during PSC vessel inspections and condition surveys.