Personal life saving appliances

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In accordance with International LSA Code which is annex to SOLAS Convention all LSA are divided into:

  • Personal LSA;
  • Visual signals (rocket parachute flares , hand flares ,buoyant smoke signals );
  • Survival craft;
  • Rescue boats;
  • Launching & embarkation appliances;
  • Emergency Radio Equipment;
  • Other LSA (line throwing appliances).

I’d like to tell you about personal LSA , survival craft & rescue boats.

To begin with personal LSA which include:

  1. Lifebuoys:
  2. Lifejackets:
  3. Immersion suits:
  4. Anti-exposure suits:
  5. Thermal protective aids.

Lifebuoys: Every lifebuoy shall:

·  Have an outer diameter of not more than 800mm & an inner diameter of not less than 400mm:

·  Be constructed of inherently buoyant material:

·  Be capable of supporting not less than 14,5kg of iron in fresh water for a period of 24h:

·  Have a mass of not less than 2,5kg:

·  Be constructed to withstand a drop into the water from the height at which it is stowed above the water line in the lightest seagoing condition or 30m, whichever is the greater:

·  Not sustain burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped in a fire for a period of 2s:

·  Be fitted with a grabline not less than 9,5mm in diameter & not less than 4 times the outside diameter of buoy in length.

At least one lifebuoy on each side of the ship is provided with a 30m long buoyant life line. Not less than ½ of lifebuoys on board must be fitted with 2 miles range self-igniting lights which shall be such that they cannot be extinguished by water, be of white color & be provided with a source of energy capable to work effectively for a period of at least 2h.A heavy lifebuoy (“man-overboard buoy”) is mounted on each side of the wheelhouse & is joined by a line to a light or self-activating smoke signal. Such signal shall emit of highly visible color for a period of at least 15minwhen floating in calm water, not be swamped in seaway, continue to emit smoke when fully submerged in water for period of at least 10s.

The lifebuoys are painted in easily-discernible color (orange-yellow) & provided with retro-reflective strips.

They are marked with the ship’s name & port of registry.

They are distributed all over the ship & accessible to everyone.

The number of lifebuoys depends on the ship’s length & type :on cargo ships 8-14,on passenger ships 8-30.

Lifejackets: There are rigid & inflatable lifejackets.

General requirements.

  • A lifejacket shall not sustain burning or continue melding after being totally enveloped in a fire for a period of 2s;

·  An adult lifejacket shall be constructed so that after demonstration all persons can correctly don it within 1min without assistance, it is comfortable to wear & it allows the wearer to jump from a height of at least 4,5m into the water without injury & damaging the lifejacket;

  • An adult lifejacket shall have sufficient buoyancy & stability in calm fresh water to lift the mouth of exhausted or unconscious person not less than 120mm clear of the water with the body inclined backwards at an angle not less than 20 deg. From the vertical position & turn the body of an unconscious person in the water from any position to one where the mouth clear of the water in not more than 5s;

The inflatable lifejackets must meet the additional requirements:

  • It shall have not less than two separate compartments each of which meets the requirements for the lifejackets regarding buoyancy, ability to turn & distance of the mouth above the water.
  • It must inflate automatically on immersion & be provided with a device to permit inflation by a single manual motion.
  • It shall be capable of being inflated by mouth.

Each lifejacket shall be fitted with non-metallic two-tone whistle which is stowed in a pocket in the body of the jacket. Each lifejacket shall also have a white flashing light with chemical battery & with an operating period of at least 8h.The lifejackets are fitted with donning instruction & straps with quick-acting fasteners. The lifejackets are made of  rigid-foam blocks covered with fabric or foamed soft plastic without any covering.

The lifejackets are dyed orange-yellow or luminous red & provided with retro-reflective strips.

The number of lifejackets on cargo ships conforms to number of crew members. There are also additional ones  for watch-keeping personnel & for musterstations. On passenger ships there are 5% in addition to & at that 10% are lifejackets for children. They have inscription “child” on both sides. The lifejackets are marked with the maker’s name & approval number.

Immersion suit: Is a protective suit intended for protection against the hypothermia & heat loss of persons working in cold water or find theirself in cold water in the event of emergency situation.

There are two types of immersion suits: the first ones can keep human afloat & the other ones can’t do it.

General requirements.

  • Shall be constructed with waterproof material such that:
  1. It can be unpacked & donned without assistance within 2min , taking into account any clothing & a lifejacket if the immersion suit is to be warn with it;
  2. It will not sustain burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped with a fire for a period of 2s;
  3. It will cover the whole body with the exception of the face. Hands shall also be covered unless permanently attached gloves are provided.
  4. It is provided with arrangements to minimize or reduce free air in the legs of the suit;
  5. After a jump from a height of not less than 4,5min to the water there will no undue ingress of water into the suit.
    • An immersion suit made of material which has no inherent insulation shall be marked with instructions that it must be worn with warm clothing & shall ensure that wearer’s body core temperature does not fall more than 2’C for a period of 1h in calm circulating water at a temperature of 5’C.

·  An immersion suit made of material with inherent insulation shall ensure that the wearer’s body core temperature doesn’t fall more than 2’C after a period of 6’C immersion in calm circulating water at a temperature of 0’C-2’C.

The suit is provided with watertight zip, lamp & signaling whistle & a connecting line to allow several persons floating in the water to link up or fasten onto a floating object. It is also fitted with approved retro-reflective material.

The suit is packed in an easy-to –open bag with printed instructions for putting it on. There may be symbols: ”No shoes”, “Only to be warn with lifejacket”.

The place where the suits are stored is shown  in safety plan .The suits shall be marked with approval number , maker, model name or number, date of manufacture.

According with the safety certificate on ships with totally enclosed lifeboats 3 approved suits are available on board for every boat. On ships with open lifeboats an approved suit is held on board for every person permitted to be on board.

Thermal protective aid: A TPA is usually bag or suit from waterproof material which is intended for recovering of human body temperature of person who was in hold water.

The TPA shall:

  • Cover the whole body of person of all sizes wearing a lifejacket with the exception of the face ;
  • Be capable to be unpacked & easily donned without assistance in survival craft or rescue boat;
  • Permit the wearer to remove it in the water within 2min.

The TPA shall function properly throughout in air temperature range –30’C to +20’C.

Survival craft must have minimum 3 TPA or 10% from the number of passengers.

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