Miscelleneous

What are drills requirements for all vessels as per SOLAS?

Drills:-

Every crew member shall participate in at least one abandon ship drill and one fire drill every month. The drills of the crew shall take place within 24 h of the ship leaving a port if more than 25% of the crew have not participated in abandon ship and fire drills on board that particular ship in the previous month. When a ship enters service for the first time, after modification of a major character or when a new crew is engaged, these drills shall be held before sailing. The Administration may accept other arrangements that are at least equivalent for those classes of ships for which this is impracticable.

Abandon ship drill
  • Each lifeboat shall be launched with its assigned operating crew aboard and manoeuvred in the water at least once every three months during an abandon ship drill.
  • Lowering into the water, rather than launching of a lifeboat arranged for free-fall launching, is acceptable where free-fall launching is impracticable provided the lifeboat is free-fall launched with its assigned operating crew aboard and manoeuvred in the water at least once every six months.
  • However, in cases where it is impracticable, the Administration may extend this period to 12 months provided that arrangements are made for simulated launching which will take place at intervals of not more than six months.
  • The Administration may allow ships operating on short international voyages not to launch the lifeboats on one side if their berthing arrangements in port and their trading patterns do not permit launching of lifeboats on that side. However, all such lifeboats shall be lowered at least once every three months and launched at least annually.
  • As far as is reasonable and practicable, rescue boats other than lifeboats which are also rescue boats, shall be launched each month with their assigned crew aboard and manoeuvred in the water. In all cases this requirement shall be complied with at least once every three months.
  • If a ship is fitted with marine evacuation systems, drills shall include exercising of the procedures required for the deployment of such a system up to the point immediately preceding actual deployment of the system. This aspect of drills should be augmented by regular instruction using the on-board training aids required. Additionally every system party member shall, as far as practicable, be further trained by participation in a full deployment of a similar system into water, either on board a ship or ashore, at intervals of not longer than two years, but in no case longer than three years. This training can be associated with the deployments required by regulation.
Additional requirements for passenger ships

Fire drills shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of regulation III/30, having due regard to notification of passengers and movement of passengers to assembly stations and embarkation decks.

 Emergency training and drills

  • On a ship engaged on a voyage where passengers are scheduled to be on board for more than 24 h, musters of the passengers shall take place within 24 h after their embarkation.
  • Whenever new passengers embark, a passenger safety briefing shall be given immediately before sailing, or immediately after sailing. The briefing shall include the instructions required by regulations, and shall be made by means of an announcement, in one or more languages likely to be understood by the passengers. The announcement shall be made on the ship’s public address system, or by other equivalent means likely to be heard at least by the passengers who have not yet heard it during the voyage. The briefing may be included in the muster required ,if the muster is held immediately upon departure. Information cards or posters or video programmes displayed on ships video displays may be used to supplement the briefing, but may not be used to replace the announcement.
Additional requirements for Ro–Ro passenger ships 

Fast rescue boats

At least two crews of each fast rescue boat shall be trained and drilled regularly having regard to the Seafarers Training, Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) Code and recommendations adopted by the Organization, { including all aspects of rescue, handling, manoeuvring, operating these craft in various conditions, and righting them after capsize.

Steering gear: testing and drills
  • Within 12 hours before departure, the ship’s steering gear shall be checked and tested by the ship’s crew.
  • All ships’ officers concerned with the operation and/or maintenance of steering gear shall be familiar with the operation of the steering systems fitted on the ship and with the procedures for changing from one system to another.
  • In addition to the routine checks and tests prescribed, emergency steering drills shall take place at least once every three months in order to practise emergency steering procedures. These drills shall include direct control within the steering gear compartment, the communications procedure with the navigation bridge and, where applicable, the operation of alternative power supplies.
  • In addition to the routine checks and tests prescribed in paragraphs, emergency steering drills shall take place at least once every three months in order to practise emergency steering procedures. These drills shall include direct control within the steering gear compartment, the communications procedure with the navigation bridge and, where applicable, the operation of alternative power supplies

The Administration may waive the requirements to carry out the checks and tests prescribed, for ships which regularly engage on voyages of short duration. Such ships shall carry out these checks and tests at least once every week.

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.