Lifebuoy lights / vetting observations

Over the last couple of weeks INTERTANKO has received a number of enquiries from members regarding SIRE vetting inspectors' comments related to lifebuoy lights. Inspectors have made an observation that the lights attached to the lifebuoys are not intrinsically safe, specifically when verifying compliance with the Vetting Inspection Questionnaire (VIQ) question 5.53 (Are lifebuoys, lights, buoyant lines, quick release mechanisms and self-activating smoke floats in good order?).


INTERTANKO would therefore like to clarify this issue and offer some guidance.

SOLAS Chapter III, regulations 7 and 32 require a number of lifebuoys to be located onboard depending on the ship's length. At least 50% of them shall be fitted with a self-igniting light, and as a minimum, two lifebuoys shall be fitted with self-activating smoke signals and be capable of quick release from the navigation bridge. Further, SOLAS Chapter V, regulation, "Pilot transfer arrangements", requires that a lifebuoy fitted with a self-igniting light shall be ready for immediate use when people are being transferred.


Where members' lifebuoy lights are not intrinsically safe, then these should be located outside of the cargo block area. However, members are reminded that when complying with the SOLAS pilot transfer requirements - which i.a. require a lifebuoy light - then where the pilot transfer area is within the cargo block, this must of course be intrinsically safe.


Contact: Fredrik Larsson