MSC.1-Circ.1392 - Guidelines For Evaluation And Replacement Of Lifeboat Release And Retrieval Systems (Secretariat)


MSC.1/Circ.1392 27 May 2011
GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION AND REPLACEMENT OF LIFEBOAT RELEASE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS
1 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its eighty-ninth session (11 to 20 May 2011), approved the Guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval systems, set out in the annex, as per SOLAS regulation III/1.5, following the recommendations made by the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment, at its fifty-fifth session, and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Lifeboat Release Hooks (16 to 18 March 2011).
2 Member Governments are invited to use the annexed Guidelines when applying SOLAS regulation III/1.5, as adopted by resolution MSC.317(89), and to bring them to the attention of all parties concerned.
3 Member Governments, shipowners and manufacturers of lifeboat release and retrieval systems are also strongly urged, pending the entry into force of SOLAS regulation III/1.5, to use the annexed Guidelines to evaluate existing lifeboat release and retrieval systems at the earliest available opportunity.*
4 Member Governments are strongly urged to ensure that all ships fitted with on-load release systems for lifeboats, are equipped with fall preventer devices as per paragraph 6 of these Guidelines at the earliest available opportunity.
5 Member Governments are encouraged to consider the results of evaluations reported to the Organization by other Member Governments on types of existing lifeboat release and retrieval systems.
***
* Reference is made to MSC.1/Circ.1393 on Early application of new SOLAS regulation III/1.5.

MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 1
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ANNEX
GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION AND REPLACEMENT OF LIFEBOAT RELEASE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS
General
1 New SOLAS regulation III/1.5, which is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013, requires that for all ships, on-load release mechanisms* not complying with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code, as amended by resolution MSC.320(89) (hereinafter called "the LSA Code"), be replaced or modified not later than the next scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2014, but not later than 1 July 2019.
2 Considering that paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code represent important safety improvements, manufacturers should carry out a self assessment of their types of existing lifeboat release and retrieval systems in accordance with these Guidelines at the earliest available opportunity.
3 An Administration, or a recognized organization acting on its behalf, should carry out a design review to check that the type of existing lifeboat release and retrieval systems comply with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code and should witness the performance test to check that it is performed in accordance with appendix 1 of these Guidelines. This evaluation should be completed not later than 1 July 2013 and the report should be submitted in accordance with paragraph 14 below.
4 Administrations, or recognized organizations acting on their behalf, should, when applying SOLAS regulation III/1.5, ensure that an evaluation of the type of existing lifeboat release and retrieval system is undertaken, for compliance with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code, in accordance with these Guidelines.
5 A flowchart of the lifeboat release and retrieval system evaluation process, is set out in appendix 2.
6 On each ship, fall preventer devices in accordance with the Guidelines for the fitting and use of fall preventer devices (FPDs) (MSC.1/Circ.1327) should be employed for each existing lifeboat release and retrieval system until the system is:
.1 found compliant with the LSA Code; or
.2 modified and found compliant with the LSA Code; or
.3 found compliant with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code and paragraphs 16 and 17 (overhaul examination) of these Guidelines; or
.4 modified and found compliant with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code and paragraphs 16 and 17 (overhaul examination) of these Guidelines; or
.5 replaced by a new lifeboat release and retrieval system.
* For the purpose of these Guidelines, the expression "on-load release mechanism" has been replaced by "lifeboat release and retrieval system" (see paragraph 9.1).
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 2
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Modifications
7 A lifeboat release and retrieval system that has been determined to be non-compliant in accordance with these Guidelines may be modified to comply with the requirements of the revised paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code and the requirements of the existing applicable Code, provided that the modified release and retrieval system is evaluated in accordance with these Guidelines.
8 A type of lifeboat release and retrieval system that, after modification, complies with the requirements of the revised paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code and the requirements of the existing applicable Code should be identified as a system compliant after modification and reported as such. The report should include both the identification of the original type and the modified type.
Definitions
9 For the purpose of these Guidelines, the definitions given hereunder should apply, in accordance with the following figure.
Movable hook component
Hook locking part
Hydrostatic interlock
Operating cable
Operating mechanism Hook assembly
Lifeboat release and retrieval system
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 3
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9.1 Lifeboat release and retrieval system is the means by which the lifeboat is connected to, and released from, the lifeboat falls for lowering, launch and retrieval. It comprises the hook assembly and operating mechanism.
9.2 Hook assembly is the mechanism, attached to the lifeboat, which connects the lifeboat to the lifeboat falls.
9.3 Movable hook component is that part of the hook assembly in direct contact with the connection with the lifeboat falls which moves to enable release from the falls.
9.4 Hook locking part is the component(s) within a hook assembly which holds the movable hook component in the closed position until activated by the operating mechanism to release the hook. This activation may be performed through other components within the hook assembly.
9.5 Operating mechanism is the means by which the operator activates the opening, or release, of the movable hook component. It includes the operating handle, linkages/cables and hydrostatic interlock, if fitted.
9.6 Type, in relation to the design of a lifeboat release and retrieval system, means an identical lifeboat release and retrieval system of given safe working load, make and model (thus any change to the materials of construction, design arrangement or dimensions constitutes a change of type).
9.7 On-load release is the action of opening the lifeboat release and retrieval system whilst there is load on the hook assemblies.
9.8 Evaluation is a design review and a performance test of a type of lifeboat release and retrieval system.
9.9 Manufacturer, with respect to existing lifeboat release and retrieval systems, is:
.1 the original equipment manufacturer; or
.2 a manufacturer of lifeboat release and retrieval systems who has taken on the responsibility for a range or type of lifeboat release and retrieval system; or
.3 any other person or entity which has taken responsibility for a range or type of lifeboat release and retrieval system when the original manufacturer no longer exists or supports the equipment.
9.10 Modifications are changes to the design of an approved lifeboat release and retrieval system which may affect compliance with the original approval requirements or the prescribed conditions for the use of the product.
9.11 New lifeboat release and retrieval system is a lifeboat release and retrieval system that has been approved in accordance with paragraph 4.4.7.6 of chapter IV of the LSA Code, as amended by resolution MSC.320(89).
9.12 Existing lifeboat release and retrieval system is a lifeboat release and retrieval system that has not been approved in accordance with paragraph 4.4.7.6 of chapter IV of the LSA Code, as amended by resolution MSC.320(89).
9.13 Company means company as defined in SOLAS regulation IX/1.2.
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 4
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Design review
10 Documentation and information for each type of lifeboat release and retrieval system should be submitted to the Administration, or recognized organization acting on its behalf, in order that an assessment can be carried out to determine compliance with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code. The manufacturer should submit the approval certificate, along with all associated supporting design calculations, plans and testing documentation to the Administration or recognized organization acting on its behalf. The design information should include the specification and the installation instructions for the complete operating system as well as all safety instructions regarding the operating system and any interlocks provided. Any submission for testing of a lifeboat release and retrieval system that cannot be supported with the above-mentioned information should not be eligible for testing against the requirements of the LSA Code.
11 If the outcome of the design review is non-compliance with the applicable paragraphs of the LSA Code, the lifeboat release and retrieval system should be replaced or modified to be made compliant.
Performance test
12 After a successful completion of the design review, a performance test should be conducted by the manufacturer for each type of lifeboat release and retrieval systems for compliance with paragraphs 4.4.7.6.4 to 4.4.7.6.6 of the LSA Code, using the test specified in appendix 1 to these Guidelines. The performance test should be witnessed by the Administration or a recognized organization acting on its behalf.
13 Should any part of the lifeboat release and retrieval system fail at any stage during the test specified in paragraphs 1 to 4 of appendix 1, this type of lifeboat release and retrieval system should be deemed to be non-compliant and reported as such.
Reporting of the results of evaluation of existing lifeboat release and retrieval system
14 The Administration should report the results of each type of existing lifeboat release and retrieval system evaluation carried out in accordance with these Guidelines to the Organization, based on the reporting procedure, as set out in appendix 3.
15 Depending on the outcome of the evaluation, every lifeboat release and retrieval system should be categorized as being either compliant, compliant after modification or non-compliant. Thereafter:
.1 systems categorized as being compliant, or compliant after modification, may remain in service; and
.2 every system categorized as being non-compliant should be replaced with a new system or modified to be made compliant.
One-time follow-up overhaul examination
16 Not later than the first scheduled dry-docking after 1 July 2014, every lifeboat release and retrieval system of a type found to be compliant in respect of the existing lifeboat release and retrieval system evaluation should be subject to an overhaul examination according to annex 1 to the Measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats (MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1) by the manufacturer or by one of their representatives. The examination also includes verification that
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 5
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the system examined is of the same type as the system that passed the evaluation and is suitable for the ship.
17 The scope of the overhaul examination should also include a detailed assessment of the condition of the components of the lifeboat release and retrieval system to observe the extent of wear, corrosion, erosion and other types of material degradation that may have occurred. Upon satisfactory completion of the overhaul examination, the manufacturer or one of their representatives should issue a factual statement to confirm this, for retention on board.
Procedure for replacement of non-compliant lifeboat release and retrieval systems
18 The procedure outlined below should be followed in all cases where a lifeboat is to be fitted with replacement lifeboat release and retrieval systems with on-load release capability. It is noted that every lifeboat, complete with lifeboat release and retrieval system, is type-approved at manufacture and it is important to recognize that a lifeboat which is retro-fitted with a replacement lifeboat release and retrieval system to the satisfaction of the Administration should be regarded as offering a level of safety which is higher than that of the original installation.
19 Companies should, where possible, select replacement equipment acceptable to the lifeboat manufacturer. However, in cases where the lifeboat manufacturer is unable to offer a suitable replacement lifeboat release and retrieval system, the Company may select an alternative lifeboat release and retrieval system, with the agreement, if possible, of the lifeboat manufacturer.
20 The replacement equipment should be approved by the Administration or a recognized organization acting on its behalf, under the provisions of the LSA Code. Prior to the installation commencing, the Company should submit to the Administration, or a recognized organization acting on its behalf, for review and approval, as a minimum the following information:
.1 the proposed replacement equipment including approval certification;
.2 the engineering analysis of the replacement installation including:
.1 drawings of the original lifeboat release and retrieval system arrangement;
.2 detailed drawings showing clearly the proposed changes (e.g., position of suspension, lifeboat release and retrieval system, fixed structural connections of the release mechanism, link plates, including materials used for nuts and bolts with regard to strength and corrosion resistance); and
.3 if the drawings show that forces and/or force couples will change and/or the lifeboat release and retrieval system fixed structural connections of the release mechanism will change, calculation of static forces including a safety factor of 6, according to the LSA Code, from lifeboat release and retrieval system into lifeboat structure, including tension and shear forces in bolts, link plates, welds and keel shoe(s);
.3 considering that a lifeboat release and retrieval system does not consist just of the hook assemblies themselves, but also of release handles, cabling, etc., in the lifeboat, the evaluation of a replacement hook assembly other than that originally provided in the lifeboat should include such factors as loadings of the release handle on the console, efficiency of any hydrostatic interlock in light and
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 6
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loaded conditions, whether the size/configuration of the replacement equipment would affect the stability or seating space of the lifeboat, and its compatibility with its launching appliance;
.4 amended operating and training manuals; and
.5 identification of the person(s) responsible for design appraisal, installation work and post-installation testing and evidence of their competence.
21 The Administration, or a recognized organization acting on its behalf, may allow that hook fixed structural connections of the release mechanism and supporting structure which are not made of material corrosion resistant in the marine environment, as required by paragraph 4.4.7.6.9 of the LSA Code, need not be replaced if they are in a good condition and installed in a sheltered position inside the lifeboat.
22 A copy of the engineering drawing(s) approved by the Administration, or by the recognized organization acting on its behalf, should be used during installation and testing and retained on board.
23 The installation should be carried out by the manufacturer or by one of their representatives. All work carried out should be witnessed by the Administration, or by a recognized organization acting on its behalf. Valid operating and safety instructions should be posted at the operating position and adjacent to the lifeboat release and retrieval system(s).
24 Post-installation testing should be carried out by the manufacturer or by one of their representatives and comprise the following:
.1 1.1 x load and simultaneous release test according to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), part 2, paragraph 5.3.1, or an equivalent method acceptable to the Administration;
.2 load test according to the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), part 2, paragraph 5.3.4, as amended by resolution MSC.226(82), if the fixed structural connections of the release mechanism of the lifeboat is modified; and
.3 if the lifeboat is also a rescue boat and/or is installed on a cargo ship of 20,000 gross tonnage or above, the 5 knots installation test should be carried out, in accordance with the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), part 2, paragraph 5.4.
25 All tests should be witnessed by the Administration, or by a recognized organization acting on its behalf, which should also verify that the installation complies in all respects with the documentation submitted by the Company and approved by the Administration, or a recognized organization acting on its behalf.
26 Following completion of installation testing, the Administration, or a recognized organization acting on its behalf, should issue a Statement of Acceptance, using the template set out in appendix 4, to the Company, for retention on board.
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 7
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APPENDIX 1
TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EVALUATION OF LIFEBOAT RELEASE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS
A release and retrieval system should be conditioned and tested as follows:
.1 the lifeboat release and retrieval system and the longest used connection cable/linkage associated with the system should be mounted and adjusted according to instructions from the original equipment manufacturer and then loaded to 100% of its safe working load and released. Load and release should be repeated 50 times. During the 50 releases, the lifeboat release and retrieval system should be released simultaneously from each fall to which it is connected without any binding or damage to any part of the lifeboat release and retrieval system. The system should be considered as "failed" if any failure during the conditioning or unintended release occurs when load is applied but the system has not yet been operated;
.2 the lifeboat release and retrieval system should then be disassembled, the parts examined and wear recorded. The release and retrieval system should then be reassembled;
.3 the hook assembly, whilst disconnected from the operating mechanism, should then be tested 10 times with cyclic loading from zero load to 1.1 times the safe working load, at a nominal 10 seconds per cycle; unless the release and retrieval system has been specifically designed to operate as an off-load hook with on-load capability using the weight of the boat to close the hook, in this case the cyclic load should be from no more than 1% to 1.1 times the SWL; and
.4 the cable and operating mechanism should then be reconnected to the hook assembly; and the lifeboat release and retrieval system should then be demonstrated to operate satisfactorily under its safe working load. The actuation force should be no less than 100 N and no more than 300 N, if a cable is used it should be the maximum length specified by the manufacturer, and secures in the same manner it would be secured in the lifeboat. The demonstration should verify that any interlocks, including hydrostatic interlocks, where fitted, indicators and handles are still functioning and are correctly positioned in accordance with the operation and safety instruction from the original equipment manufacturer. The release and retrieval system is deemed to have passed the testing under this appendix when the tests have been conducted successfully. The system should be considered as "failed" if any failure during this test or any unintended release or opening occurs.
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 8
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APPENDIX 2
EXISTING LIFEBOAT RELEASE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM EVALUATION PROCESS FLOW CHART
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 9
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APPENDIX 3
INFORMATION ON THE EVALUATION OF EXISTING LIFEBOAT RELEASE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS TO BE REPORTED
The following information should be provided for each lifeboat release and retrieval system:
Manufacturer's Details
Name
Address
E-mail address
Lifeboat release and retrieval system Type (see paragraph 9.6) and identification
In case of modification
Original type and identification
Details of modification
Specification of type (e.g., Maximum Safe Working Load (SWL))
Details of the Administration, or recognized organization acting on its behalf, undertaking the evaluation of the lifeboat release and retrieval system
Name
Address
E-mail address
Evaluation report details No.
Date
Evaluation result
Compliant / Non-compliant / Compliant after modification
Report information Link to the relevant report (url)
Reported by Name of the Administration
MSC.1/Circ.1392 Annex, page 10
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APPENDIX 4
STATEMENT OF ACCEPTANCE OF THE INSTALLATION OF REPLACEMENT RELEASE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM TO AN EXISTING LIFEBOAT
Issued in accordance with the provisions of regulation I/5 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, under the authority of [Administration]* Name of ship: Port of registry: IMO Number:
Lifeboat details: Replacement release and retrieval system details:
Lifeboat identity Lifeboat serial number
Release and retrieval system serial number (fwd)
Release and retrieval system serial number (aft) No.1 (Stbd)
No.2 (Port)
The above release and retrieval system has been installed and tested under the supervision of the [Administration, or a recognized organization authorized to act on its behalf]*, as documented in Survey report no...; certificate no.... dated ... and [installation] drawing(s) no(s) ... dated ... .
This statement is to confirm that:
.1 The replacement release and retrieval system meets the relevant requirements of the LSA Code, chapter IV, section 4.4.7.6.
.2 The replacement release and retrieval system construction and the equipment of the above-mentioned ship was found to comply with the provisions of SOLAS regulation III/4 when tested in accordance with the Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)), part 2, section 5.3.1. [The test required by paragraph 5.3.4 is waived as impracticable for this replacement procedure.]*
.3 The validity of the relevant Safety Certificate is not affected by the installation of the replacement release and retrieval system.
.4 The installation of the replacement release and retrieval system offers a level of safety which is at least as effective as the original manufacturer's equipment.
The [Administration, or a recognized organization authorized to act on its behalf]* certifies that this Statement of Acceptance augments and supersedes the affected sections of the original lifeboat approval certification. The statement must be kept on board the ship with all other relevant documentation at all times.
…………………………….. …………… (Stamp) (Date)
___________
* Insert as appropriate.
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