Lifejackets - New Requirements

Changes to the LSA Code and SOLAS – requirements for lifejackets

Amendments to Chapter II of the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code come into effect on July 1, 2010, and introduce the following new requirements for the approval of lifejackets:

• Each lifejacket shall be fitted with a whistle firmly secured by a lanyard.
• Lifejacket lights and whistles shall be selected and secured to the lifejacket in such a way that their performance in combination is not degraded.
• Each lifejacket shall be provided with a releasable buoyant line or other means to secure it to a lifejacket worn by another person in the water.
• Each lifejacket shall be provided with a suitable means to allow a rescuer to lift the wearer from the water into a survival craft or rescue boat.

The requirements apply:
• to lifejackets provided on board ships constructed (having their keel laid) on or after July 1, 2010
• when providing new lifejackets to vessels with a keel laying date before July 1, 2010.

New requirements for the carriage of additional equipment, also effective July 1, 2010, have been introduced under the SOLAS Convention, as follows:

• On all ships where adult lifejackets are not designed to fit persons weighing up to 140 kg with a chest girth of up to 1,750 mm, suitable accessories are to be provided that allow the lifejacket to be secured to such persons.
• All passenger ships are to be provided with lifejackets for “infants”.

Relevant IMO resolutions and circulars

The amendments to Chapter II of the LSA Code and Chapter III of SOLAS were adopted by the IMO through resolutions MSC.207(81) and MSC.201(81) respectively.

Resolution MSC.81(70) – Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving Appliances (adopted on December 11, 1998) has been amended by resolution MSC.200(80) to reflect the new requirements.
However, it should be noted that MSC/Circ.980 – Standardized Life-Saving Appliance Evaluation and Test Report Forms has not been similarly amended; when required, these amendments will be applied and information is to be included in the relevant test report forms.

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