Schedules of deployment for marine evacuation systems (MES) - SSB No.: 13/2019

RDIMS No .: 15617424
Date (Y-M-D) : 2019-11-12

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This bulletin clarifies the deployment of a marine evacuation system (MES) when training crew or system testing.


This bulletin is for operators and crew of all vessels equipped with a MES. It explains the maintenance schedules included on the MES’ type approval certificate. It is also a reminder to use MES deployments as an opportunity to train crew members that have MES-related duties.

What you need to know

Any vessel with a MES on board should:

  • deploy at least one MES for crew training every two years, before it is sent for yearly servicing; and
  • deploy each MES on board at least once every six years.

Example #1: A vessel with two MES on board should:

  • deploy unit no.1 on year two; and
  • deploy unit no.2 on year four.

This means that the entire deployment cycle will be done in four years.

Example #2: A vessel with four or more MES on board can:

  • decide when to deploy the fourth (and any additional units).

It could be during year two, year four or year six deployment. The determining factors is that all the units are tested at least once in every six year period and that at least one unit is deployed every two years.

Note: This guidance does not replace the requirement for the first deployment after a new installation, as stated in the regulations (Life Saving Equipment Regulations s.5.2 (b), Life Saving Appliance Code para., nor the yearly servicing of the MES.

Training Requirements

According to the Fire and Boat Drills Regulations (FBDR), during every survival craft drill, crew must practice the procedures required for the deployment of the MES, up to the point where it’s actually deployed.

It is beneficial for crew to deploy and descend in the slides or chute in such a controlled and stress-free environment to supplement the minimum FBDR requirement. The point of this exercise is for all crew members with MES-related duties to show their knowledge, understanding and ability to use a MES, while other crew members watch to become familiar with the process.

Rotational deployments are often the only and probably the best time to complete the training required under subsection 205(7) of the Marine Personnel Regulations and SOLAS regulation III/

While no specific number of crew is required to descend, we recommend that as many crew members as possible participate in the deployment of the MES for training purposes.


1. Marine Evacuation System
2. Deployment
3. Training

Questions concerning this Bulletin should be addressed to:

Véronique Bérubé

Transport Canada
Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Contact us at: Email: or Telephone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free).