New proposals from IMO’s STW Sub-committee regarding training in free-fall lifeboats

Part of the deliberations this week at the IMO’s Standards for Training and Watchkeeping Sub-committee (STW 37) took account of the draft amendments to SOLAS Regulation III/19.3.3.4 (see article in Weekly NEWS Issue 2/2006) as agreed by the Fire Protection Sub-committee FP 50.

STW has subsequently prepared draft amendments (which were approved by STW this week) to Part B of the STCW Code (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) section B-I/14 (section entitled ‘Guidance regarding responsibilities of companies and recommended responsibilities of masters and crew members’)  for companies whose ships are outfitted with free-fall lifeboats.

The new proposed amendments (supported by INTERTANKO) will require the company to ensure that crew assigned as operating crew of a free-fall lifeboat shall have undergone on at least one occasion a free-fall launch, prior joining the vessel.

The proposed draft amendments to STCW Code Part B-I/14 is as follows:

Guidance regarding responsibilities of companies and recommended responsibilities of masters and crew members,

In section B-I/14 the following text is inserted at the end of paragraph 1;

Companies should also ensure that:

.1   All seafarers on a vessel fitted with free-fall lifeboats should receive familiarization training in boarding and launching procedures for such lifeboats.

.2  Prior to joining a vessel seafarers assigned as operating crew of free-fall lifeboats should have undergone, appropriate training in boarding, launching and recovering of such lifeboats including participation on at least one occasion in a free-fall launch. 

This has been approved by STW 37  with a view it will be adopted at the Maritime Safety Committee’s MSC 81 meeting.

A full report of the outcome from STW 37 will be published in the Weekly News next week, including

  • The report from the Maritime Security Working Group
  • Revalidaton of GMDSS operators certificate

Contact: Fredrik Larsson  Howard Snaith