Life-Saving Appliances including LSA Code, 2017 Edition (IE982E)

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Published Date

March 2017

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Life-Saving Appliances including LSA Code, 2017 Edition (IE982E)

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This publication contains the three most important IMO instruments dealing with life-saving appliances, namely the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code, the Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving Appliances and the Code of Practice for Evaluation, Testing and Acceptance of Prototype Novel Life-Saving Appliances.

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It provides international requirements for the life-saving appliances, including personal life-saving appliances like lifebuoys, lifejackets, immersion suits, anti-exposure suits and thermal protective aids; visual aids, such as parachute flares, hand flares and buoyant smoke signals; survival craft, such as life rafts and lifeboats; rescue boats; launching and embarkation appliances and marine evacuation systems line throwing appliances; and general alarm and public address systems.



International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code

Resolution MSC.48(66)


Chapter I General

1.1 Definitions

1.2 General requirements for life-saving appliances

Chapter II Personal life-saving appliances

2.1 Lifebuoys

2.2 Lifejackets

2.3 Immersion suits

2.4 Anti-exposure suits

2.5 Thermal protective aids

Chapter III Visual signals

3.1 Rocket parachute flares

3.2 Hand flares

3.3 Buoyant smoke signals

Chapter IV Survival craft

4.1 General requirements for liferafts

4.2 Inflatable liferafts

4.3 Rigid liferafts

4.4 General requirements for lifeboats

4.5 Partially enclosed lifeboats

4.6 Totally enclosed lifeboats

4.7 Free-fall lifeboats

4.8 Lifeboats with a self-contained air support system

4.9 Fire-protected lifeboats

Life-Saving Appliances


Chapter V Rescue boats

5.1 Rescue boats

Chapter VI Launching and embarkation appliances

6.1 Launching and embarkation appliances

6.2 Marine evacuation systems

Chapter VII Other life-saving appliances

7.1 Line-throwing appliances

7.2 General alarm and public address system

Testing and Evaluation of Life-Saving Appliances

I Revised recommendation on testing of

life-saving appliances, as amended

Resolution MSC.81(70)


Part 1 Prototype tests for life-saving appliances

1 Lifebuoys

1.1 Lifebuoys specification

1.2 Temperature cycling test

1.3 Drop test

1.4 Test for oil resistance

1.5 Fire test

1.6 Flotation test

1.7 Strength test

1.8 Test for operation with a light and smoke signal

1.9 Lifebuoy self-activating smoke signal tests


2 Lifejackets

2.1 Temperature cycling test

2.2 Buoyancy test

2.3 Fire test

2.4 Tests of components other than buoyancy materials

2.5 Strength tests

2.6 Tests for lifejacket buoyancy material

2.7 Donning test

2.8 Water performance tests

2.9 Infant and children’s lifejacket tests

2.10 Tests for inflatable lifejackets

3 Immersion suits, anti-exposure suits and thermal protective aids

3.1 Tests common to non-insulated and insulated immersion

suits and anti-exposure suits

3.2 Thermal protective tests

3.3 Thermal protective aids for survival craft


4 Pyrotechnics – rocket parachute flares, hand flares and buoyant smoke signals

4.1 General

4.2 Temperature tests

4.3 Water and corrosion resistance test

4.4 Handling safety test

4.5 Safety inspection

4.6 Rocket parachute flares test

4.7 Hand flares test

4.8 Buoyant smoke signals test


5 Liferafts – rigid and inflatable


5.1 Drop test

5.2 Jump test

5.3 Weight test

5.4 Towing test

5.5 Mooring out tests

5.6 Liferaft painter system test

5.7 Loading and seating test.

5.8 Boarding and closing arrangement test

5.9 Stability test

5.10 Manoeuvrability test

5.11 Swamp test

5.12 Canopy closure test

5.13 Buoyancy of float-free liferafts

5.14 Detailed inspection

5.15 Weak link test.

5.16 Davit-launched liferafts – strength test of lifting components

5.17 Additional tests applicable to inflatable liferafts only

5.18 Additional tests applicable to automatically self-righting liferafts only

5.19 Submergence test for automatically self-righting and canopied reversible liferafts

5.20 Wind velocity tests

5.21 Test for self-draining of floors of canopied reversible liferafts and automatically self-righting liferafts

5.22 Liferaft light tests


6 Lifeboats


6.1 Definitions and general conditions

6.2 Lifeboat material tests

6.3 Lifeboat overload test

6.4 Davit-launched lifeboat impact and drop test

6.5 Free-fall lifeboat free-fall test

6.6 Lifeboat seating strength test

6.7 Lifeboat seating space test

6.8 Lifeboat freeboard and stability tests

6.9 Release mechanism test

6.10 Lifeboat operational test

6.11 Lifeboat towing and painter release test

6.12 Lifeboat light tests

6.13 Canopy erection test

6.14 Additional tests for totally enclosed lifeboats

6.15 Air supply test for lifeboats with a self-contained air support system

6.16 Additional tests for fire-protected lifeboats

6.17 Measuring and evaluating acceleration forces


7 Rescue boats and fast rescue boats


7.1 Rigid rescue boats

7.2 Inflated rescue boats

7.3 Rigid/inflated rescue boats

7.4 Rigid fast rescue

7.5 Inflated fast rescue boats

7.6 Rigid/inflated fast rescue boats

7.7 Outboard motors for rescue boats

8 Launching and embarkation appliances

8.1 Testing of davits and launching appliances

8.2 Davit-launched liferaft automatic release hook test

9 Line-throwing appliances


9.1 Test for pyrotechnics

9.2 Function test

9.3 Line tensile test

9.4 Visual examination

9.5 Temperature test


10 Position-indicating lights for life-saving appliances

10.1 Survival craft and rescue boats light tests

10.2 Lifebuoy self-igniting light tests

10.3 Lifejacket light tests

10.4 Common tests for all position-indicating lights


11 Hydrostatic release units

11.1 Visual and dimensional examination

11.2 Technical tests

11.3 Performance test


12 Marine evacuation systems

12.1 Materials

12.2 Marine evacuation system container

12.3 Marine evacuation passage

12.4 Marine evacuation platform, if fitted

12.5 Associated inflatable liferafts

12.6 Performance


13 Searchlights for lifeboats and rescue boats

13.1 Visual examination

13.2 Durability and resistance to environmental conditions

13.3 Operational controls

13.4 Light tests


Part 2 Production and installation tests

1 General

2 Individual buoyancy equipment

2.1 Lifejackets

2.2 Immersion and anti-exposure suits

3 Portable buoyancy equipment

3.1 Lifebuoys


4 Pyrotechnics


5 Survival craft

5.1 Liferaft operational inflation test

5.2 Davit-launched liferaft and inflated rescue boat test

5.3 Lifeboat and rescue boat test

5.4 Launch test


6 Launching and stowage arrangements

6.1 Launching appliances using falls and winches

6.2 Installation tests of liferaft launching appliances


7 Marine evacuation systems

7.1 Installation tests


Annex 1 – Adult reference test device (RTD) design and construction

1 General

2 Materials

3 Construction


Annex 2 – Child reference test device (RTD) design and construction

1 General

2 Materials

3 Construction


Annex 3 – Infant reference test device (RTD) design and construction

1 General

2 Materials

3 Construction


Code of practice for the evaluation, testing and acceptance of prototype novel life-saving appliances and arrangements

Resolution A.520(13


1 General provisions

2 General criteria

3 Appliance criteria and testing of prototypes

A​​s a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.  

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Title: Life-Saving Appliances including LSA Code, 2017 Edition (IE982E)
Product Code: MM1428K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280116540, ISBN 10: 9280116541
Published Date: March 2017
Weight: 0.50 kg
Author: IMO

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