What are stowage requirements for Survival Craft on Ship as per SOLAS ?

Each survival craft shall be stowed,-

(1) So that neither the survival craft nor its stowage arrangements interferes with the operation of any other survival craft or rescue boat at any other launching station; 

(2) As near the water surface as is safe and practicable and, in the case of survival craft, other than a life craft intended for throw overboard launching, be in such a position that the survival craft in the embarkation position is not less than 2 meters above the water line with the ship in the fully loaded condition under unfavorable conditions of trim and listed up to 20 degree either way, to the angle at which the ship’s weather deck edge becomes submerged, whichever is less; 

  1. In a state of continuous readiness so that two crew members can carry out preparagraphtion for embarkation and launching in less than 5 minutes;       
  2. Fully equipped as specified in Paragraph 8 of part I of the Third SOLAS  in the case of lifeboats and Paragraph 5 of Part I of the Fourth SOLAS  in the case of life rafts; 
  3. As far as practicable, in a secure and sheltered position and protected from damage by fire and explosion. 

(3) Lifeboats for lowering down the ship’s side shall be stowed as far forward of the propeller as practicable to that :- 

  1. On cargo ships of  80 meters length and above but less than 120 meters length, each lifeboat shall be so stowed that the after end of the lifeboat is not less than the length of the lifeboat forward of the propeller; 
  2. On cargo ships of 120 meters length and above and passenger ships of above 80 meters length and above, each lifeboat shall be so stowed that the after end of the lifeboat is not less than 1.5 times the length of the lifeboat forward of the propeller. 

(4) The ship shall be so arranged that lifeboats in their stowed position are protected from damage by heavy seas. 

(5) All lifeboats shall be stowed attached to launching appliances. 

(6) Davit-launched life rafts shall be stowed within reach of the lifting hooks, unless some means of transfer is provided which is not rendered inoperable, within the limits of trim and list specified in SOLAS either by ship motion or by power failure. 

(7) Every life raft shall be stowed with its painter permanently attached to the ship and with a float free arrangement as specified in the Ninth SOLAS  so that, as far as practicable, the liferaft floats free and if inflatable, inflates automatically when the ship sinks.  In addition every liferafts shall be stowed as to permit release of the same manually from its securing arrangements : 

Provided that the liferaft required to be provided on cargo ships under SOLAS may be secured to permit release of the liferaft manually only. 

(8) Liferaft intended for throw overboard launching shall be stowed as to be readily transferable for launching on either side of the ship unless life rafts of the aggregated capacity required are carried on each side of the ship. 

You may also know about Stowage of rescue boats :

(1) Rescue boats required to be provided under  SOLAS shall be stowed :-

  1. in a state or continuous readiness for launching in not more than 5 minutes
  2. in a position suitable for launching and recovery; and 
  3. so that neither the rescue boat nor its stowage arrangements will interfere with the operation of any survival craft. 

(2) Where the rescue boat is also a lifeboat, then its stowage shall comply with the requirements specified. 


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