The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has announced amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance Code (LSA Code) regarding requirements for lifeboats, launching, and embarkation appliances. These amendments will come into effect on 1 January 2024 and are relevant to various stakeholders in the maritime industry, including shipowners, ship operators, ship managers, ship masters, designers, shipbuilders, and manufacturers.
One significant change is the potential waiver for the requirement of stored mechanical power used for slewing the rescue boat outboard. The amendments specify that a launching appliance should not rely on any means other than gravity or stored mechanical power that is independent of the ship’s power supplies. However, on cargo ships equipped with a rescue boat weighing no more than 700kg in fully equipped condition, with engine but without crew, the launching appliance does not need to be fitted with stored mechanical power if certain conditions are met.
The amendments also acknowledge that many flag Administrations have previously accepted rescue-boat launching appliances without stored mechanical power based on “Equivalent Arrangements.” These arrangements, published by flag Administrations, will continue to apply to rescue boats installed on ships before 1 January 2024. The IMO’s goal with these amendments is to ensure the safety and effectiveness of life-saving appliances while providing flexibility for certain scenarios.