Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Training Department (SEAFDEC/TD)


Life-saving Appliance Onboard M.V. SEAFDEC

Life-saving Appliance Onboard M.V. SEAFDEC
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25 March 2022

Life-saving Appliance Onboard M.V. SEAFDEC

The Maritime, IMO (International Maritime Organization) has prescribed the SOLAS Convention and other maritime-related standards, the safety of human life is paramount. Ships and other craft must have life-saving appliances including lifeboats, lifebuoys, life rafts and many others. A crew and passengers are informed of their availability in case of an emergency at sea. Life-saving appliances are mandatory as per chapter3 of the SOLAS Convention. The International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code gives specific technical requirements for the manufacture, maintenance, and keeping of record life-saving appliances. The number and type of life-saving appliances differ from vessel to vessel, and the code fives a minimum requirement to comply to make a ship seagoing.

Life Raft

Life rafts are provided as a life-saving appliance on every seagoing merchant or passenger ship, in addition to the lifeboats. They are much easier to launch than lifeboats. In case of emergencies, evacuation from the ship can be done without manually launching any of them, as the life rafts are designed with an auto-inflatable system. Life rafts are stored in a fiberglass container, incorporate with a high-pressure gas used for inflating life rafts at the time of emergency and the Hydrostatic Release Unit (HRU) is connected to the raft container and ship, which release the raft even after the ship sinks in water.

Maritime Distress Signals

Maritime distress signals ate used in case of extreme emergency situations at sea. Also as known as pyrotechnics, these emergency flares and signals are the best way to inform a nearly ship for help. Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic. Basically, chemical reactions produce heat, light, gas, smoke, and/or sound. Used under extreme emergencies (such as distress), these are provided onboard ships to grab the attention/inform ships within range to seek help and assistance of the vessels to rescue. It is a visual method of sending SOS signals. In the unfortunate event (such as an “abandon ship” situation) wherein one’s ship is beyond saving, pyrotechnics can be one of the last resorts for the ship personnel’s survival and rescue out at sea. Pictorial representation for use at sea is displayed on the cover of each of the units mentioned below.

  • Hand Flare
  • Rocket Parachute Flare
  • Buoyant Smoke Signals
  • Line Throwing Appliances

Life Jacket

Life jacket is a vital piece of safety equipment that could save your life. The best idea is to make sure you wear it. Put the life jacket on as part of your pre-trip preparation. It is a lot harder to put a life jacket on, in the water during an emergency. Life jackets are designed to keep you afloat in water. They will automatically turn you into a face-up position, keeping your mouth and nostrils clear of the water to prevent the risk of drowning. This is particularly important if, for any reason, you are unconscious when you fall into the water. 

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Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Training Department
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