Survival Craft (eBook)

Published Date

December 2008

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Survival Craft (eBook)

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This guide provides practical information to assist seafarers with the safe operation and maintenance of survival craft.

It will also be of interest to shore managers and company superintendents whose general responsibilities include shipboard safety.

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This is a guide to the safe operation and maintenance of survival craft for seafarers. It concentrates on the four main types of survival craft found on board ships (davit launched lifeboats, free-fall lifeboats, dedicated rescue boats and davit launched liferafts), looking at maintenance and inspection, familiarisation and training, and launch and recovery for each specific craft, as well as covering more general principles applicable to all types of survival craft. Annexes provide examples to assist with the development of onboard procedures and risk assessments that address the launching and recovery of survival craft.

Glossary Introduction


Section 1 - Equipment


Section 2 - Maintenance and Inspection

2.1 Maintenance instruction and manuals

2.2 Maintenance and inspection intervals


Section 3 - Familiarisation and training


Section 4 - Davit Launched Lifeboats

4.1 Maintenance and Inspection

4.2 Familiarisation and training

4.3 Launching

4.4 Recovery

4.5 Post Recovery


Section 5 - Free-Fall Lifeboats

5.1 Maintenance and Inspection

5.2 Familiarisation and training

5.3 Launching

5.4 Recovery

5.5 Post Recovery


Section 6 - Dedicated Recue Boats

6.1 Maintenance and Inspection

6.2 Familiarisation and training

6.3 Launching

6.4 Recovery

6.5 Post Recovery


Section 7 - Davit Launched Liferafts

7.1 Maintenance and Inspection

7.2 Familiarisation and training

7.3 Launching

7.4 Recovery


ANNEX 1 - Example Procedure for the Launching and Recovery of Davit Launched Lifeboats

ANNEX 2 - Extract from an Example Risk Assessment

This guide has been published by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum with the aim of providing practical information to assist seafarers with the safe operation and maintenance of survival craft. Although the main focus of the guidance is directed at personnel onboard, it will also be of interest to shore managers and company superintendents having general responsibilities for shipboard safety.


Over recent years, there have been a number of serious incidents within the industry during the inspection, maintenance and routine testing of survival craft. The root cause of many of these incidents has been identified as changes in equipment design which, in-turn, have led to a lack of familiarity with the operational and maintenance requirements of installed equipment. This is perhaps most noticeable with on-load release systems, where a large number of differing approved designs has the potential to lead to confusion with regard to the mechanism’s operation and maintenance requirements.


It is recognised that the International Maritime Organization, together with industry organisations representing the broad spectrum of manufacturers and users, is actively developing revised design criteria for survival craft. However, this work may take some time to complete and it will be several years before any agreed measures are universally adopted and implemented within the industry. The guidance contained within this publication is aimed at bridging this gap by recommending measures that are applicable to existing systems and their safe operation.


Previous studies of survival craft incidents have identified unplanned hook release during routine activities as the event most likely to cause serious injury or damage. Several recommendations within this guide are aimed at preventing such incidents and include the use of control measures, such as fall preventer devices, during exercises and drills involving the launching or recovery of survival craft.


The structure of this guide recognises the different types of survival craft that may be found onboard. Section 1 ‘Equipment’, Section 2 ‘Maintenance and Inspection’ and Section 3 ‘Familiarisation and Training’ address general issues that are applicable to all survival craft. Separate sections then consider individual types, which are broadly categorised as ‘davit launched lifeboats’, ‘free-fall lifeboats’, ‘dedicated rescue boats’ and ‘davit launched liferafts’. Particular issues relating to the survival craft type, together with its launching and recovery, are described in each of the separate sections. Finally, the Annexes provide examples to assist with the development of onboard procedures and risk assessments that address the launching and recovery of survival craft.


The guidance is considered to be of primary relevance to personnel serving on tankers and gas carriers. However, many of the recommendations will also be applicable to seafarers serving on other types of cargo ship.


The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies, with an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and gas. OCIMF focuses exclusively on preventing harm to people and the environment by promoting best practice in the design, construction and operation of tankers, barges and offshore vessels and their interfaces with terminals.

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Title: Survival Craft (eBook)
Subtitle: A Seafarers Guide
Number of Volumes: 1
Edition: First
Number of Pages: 54
Product Code: WS1229EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-905331-35-2 (9781905331352), ISBN 10: 1-905331-35-5 (1905331355)
Published Date: December 2008
Binding Format: Paperback Spiro
Book Height: 180 mm
Book Width: 120 mm
Author: Oil Companies International Marine Forum

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