SOLAS and LSA code Requirements for lifeboat:

The size, number and the capacity of the lifeboat for a merchant vessel is decided by the type of the ship and number of ship’s crew, but it should not be less than 7.3 m in length and minimum two lifeboats are provided on both side of the ship (port and starboard).

-The requirement for the lifeboat of a cargo ship with 20,000 GT is that the boat must be capable of launching when the ship is heading with a speed of 5 knots.

-The lifeboat must carry all the equipment described under SOLAS which can be used for survival at sea. It includes rations, fresh water, first aid, compass, distress signaling equipment like rocket etc.

-The ship must carry one rescue boat for rescue purpose along with other lifeboats. One lifeboat can be designated as a rescue boat if more then one lifeboat is present onboard ship.

-The gravity davits must be held and slide down the lifeboat even when the ship is heeled to an angle of 15 degrees on either side. Ropes are used to hold the lifeboat in the stowed position with the cradle. These ropes are called gripes.

-The wires which lift or lower the lifeboat are known as falls and the speed of the lifeboat descent should not be more than 36m/ min which is controlled by means of centrifugal brakes.

-The hoisting time for the boat launching appliance should not be less than 0.3 m/sec with the boat loaded to its full capacity.

-The Lifeboat must be painted in international bright orange color with the ship’s call sign printed on it.

-The lifeboat station must be easily accessible for all the crew members in all circumstances. Safety awareness posters and launching procedures must be posted at lifeboat station.

-Regular drills must be carried out to ensure that the ship’s crew members are capable of launching the boat with minimal time during a real emergency.

"Reference : SOLAS Regulations"

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