New requirements for ventilation of survival craft

The MOL Comfort incidents (2013) triggered this work as crew escaped in a totally enclosed lifeboat suffered dehydration due to the extreme temperature.  SSE 7 (2020) completed the work for totally enclosed lifeboats. The focus at SSE 8 was ventilation arrangements and test procedures for liferaft and partially enclosed lifeboats.  For liferaft, while the intention was to meet the requirements through natural ventilation, as an option, mechanical ventilation was also included. The requirements will be made mandatory through amendments to the LSA Code, and subject to approval at MSC 106 and subsequent adoption at MSC 107, which will enter into force on 1 January 2026 for new survival craft installed on or after 1 January 2029 on the building contract basis. SSE 8 also revised the relevant part of the Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-saving Appliances (resolution MSC.81(70)). Some members considered further technical research was needed, thus this agenda item was kept for the review of the research result at SSE 9 in 2023. Holistic review of SOLAS chapter III and the LSA Code   Various documents for discussion, e.g. lifeboat seat belt colours, immersion suits (donning training), evaluation of hazard associated with the escape etc. was submitted for discussion.  However, noting a question on the scope of the work of this work program, the chair reminded SSE 8 of the action plan approved by MSC 102 and suggested deferring proposals on prescriptive requirements but focusing on hazard identification, setting goals, functional requirements and analyses of gaps etc.  SSE 8 agreed: 

- To task the correspondence group (CG) to categorize proposal into three categories, i.e., 1 postpone unless work plan became mature enough to address concrete prescriptive requirements, 2 new work programme would be needed, 3 could be dealt with as a correction. 

- To set up the Intersessional in-person Expert Group on hazard identification practice.


Due to time constraints, SSE 8 could not review the performance test to ensure an unconscious person would keep his/her face above water.  SSE 8 tasked the CG to work further.  Similarly, the proposed inclusion of “spray hood” was also tasked to the CG. In addition, SSE 8 also reviewed how to indicate (display) donning instructions of lifejackets, however, rather than embarking on detailed discussion on this subject, agreed to include one of the “categorization” work as explained in “Holistic review of SOLAS Chapter III and the LSA Code”. Revised standardized life-saving appliance evaluation and 

IMO SSE 8 Meeting summary, March 14, 2022 2 test report forms (survival craft) (MSC.1/Circ.1630) SSE 8 agreed with the consequential amendments to the Revised Standardized Life-saving Appliance Evaluation and Test Report Forms (survival craft) (MSC.1/Circ.1630), regarding standards for coated fabric material tests for inflatable liferaft for approval by MSC 106.  However, the relevant amendments regarding survival craft ventilation were tasked to the correspondence group. 

Forms of certificate 

An NGO proposed corrections of certificate forms in relation to immersion suits and anti-exposure suits, i.e. to differentiate immersion suits that require lifejacket on top of that, and those not. Subsequently SSE 8 agreed on the minor corrections to the forms of the record of equipment for certificates in SOLAS, the HSC Code and the SPS Code pertaining to the type of immersion suits. 

Retro-reflective materials on life-saving appliances 

A member State expressed the view that the retroflected materials are not required on the bottom of self-righting lifeboats. However, SSE 8 did not agree with the view. 


Due to time constraints, the following were postponed to SSE 9 scheduled for 27 February – 3 March 2023. 

- Spare bulbs if a torch uses LED bulbs; 

- External colour of lifeboat; and 

- Slewing out the rescue boat.


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