Bulletin No.: 05/2000

Date (Y-M-D): 2000-04-17

Subject: Premature Release of Lifeboat Safety Hooks

Transport Canada - Marine Safety is concerned by the reports of several accidents that have resulted due to premature release of the davit hooks during the lowering of survival craft. These accidents have resulted in serious injuries and/or loss of life for the occupants of the survival craft.

The problem appears to occur mainly when the crew is not entirely familiar with the correct sequence of the survival craft launching and retrieving operations and the proper procedure for securing the lifeboat and resetting the safety pins to the hooks.

Reference is hereby given to the SOLAS Chapter III, Regulation 51, Subparagraph .3, .4, .5, .6 and Regulation 53, Paragraph 2, Section .3, and .4 (copied below for ease of reference):

Regulation 51 -Training Manual

The training manual, which may comprise several volumes, shall contain instructions and information, in easily understood terms, illustrated wherever possible, on the life-saving appliances provided in the ship and on the best methods of survival. Any part of such information may be provided in the form of audio-visual aids in lieu of manual.

The following shall be explained in detail:

.3 boarding, launching and clearing the survival craft and rescue boats;

.4 methods of launching from within the survival craft;

.5 release from launching appliances;

.6 methods and use of devices for protection in launching areas, where appropriate;

Regulation 53 - Muster list and emergency instructions

The muster list shall show the duties assigned to the different members of the crew including;

.2 equipping of survival craft and other life-saving appliances;

.3 preparation and launching of survival craft;

.4 general preparation of other lifesaving appliances;

Mariners are reminded to ensure that all launching systems including any components such as falls, release hooks, brakes and tackles are inspected at regular intervals and the crew familiarized with the correct sequence of launching and retrieving the survival craft. Release hooks must be verified that they correctly rest in the locked position.

As launching sequence/instructions are unique to each survival craft, the crew should familiarize themselves with the equipment and the Master should, in addition to ensuring written instructions are available, ensure that sufficient drills and training are provided in order that the crew can operate efficiently and safely in an emergency situation.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

1. Accidents
2. Survival Crafts
3. Release hooks
G.A. Ianiev
Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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