Applicability: All owners and managers of new and existing ships

New requirements for the recovery of persons from the water enter into force on 1 July, 2014, under SOLAS regulation III/17-1. The new regulation requires all ships (other than ro-ro passenger ships*) to have ship-specific plans and procedures for the recovery of persons from the water.

The requirements apply to new ships constructed (having their keel laid) on or after 1 July, 2014, and to existing ships by the first periodical or renewal safety equipment survey after 1 July, 2014.

The recovery plans and procedures should facilitate the transfer of persons from the water to the ship while minimising the risk of injury from impact with ship structure, including by the recovery appliance itself, through a risk assessment taking into account the anticipated conditions and ship-specific characteristics.

Drills should also be carried out to ensure that crew are familiar with the plans, procedures and equipment for recovery of persons from the water. These drills should be part of the routine man-overboard drills.

*Ro-ro passenger ships are already required to carry means of recovery equipment by SOLAS regulation III/26.4, and so are deemed to have complied with the regulation III/17-1 requirements.

What should owners and operators do now?

Owners and operators of new and existing ships should bring this information to the attention of their designers, shipyards, surveyors and other relevant employees and parties, and take any necessary action.

Background to the new requirements

The new requirements have been introduced as part of the emergency preparedness plan required by paragraph 8 of part A of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. They were adopted by IMO Resolution MSC.338(91)).

For further information 

Speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd's Register office.