MAC has been contacted by the Head of Marine and HSSEQ of a major shipowner with concerns regarding the non-compliance with the LSA Code of freefall lifeboats being installed in a newbuild. The non-compliance presents a potential hazard which may result in death or injury under certain conditions and possible problems with PSC inspections and others.
Efforts are underway to resolve the situation with the lifeboat manufacturer however the same issue may arise with other lifeboat designs.
Despite type-approval and acceptance by by a major classification society the design does not comply with LSA Code Chapter IV 188.8.131.52 which calls for at least 650mm free clearance in front of the backrest but in this design the distance is only about 150mm which under certain circumstances can be fatal to any person sitting in that seat.
In addition to the personal injury hazard the non-compliance may put the vessel at risk of detention in event of port state control inspection.
It is recommended that shipowners should ensure that lifeboats aboard their vessels are appropriately compliant and that Masters ensure that freefall lifeboats aboard their vessel are compliant and take necessary action in event of non-compliance.
The following is the manufacturer’s proposed solution