What are drills requirements for all vessels as per SOLAS?


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

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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.

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