According to Lloyd’s Register (LR), amendments to Chapter IV of the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code,  introduce an increased assumed mass of occupants for the approval of liferafts.

From Jan. 1, 2012, all inflatable and rigid liferafts should be constructed on the basis of an average person mass of occupants of 82.5kg (increased from 75kg).

Lloyd’s Register’s interpretation of the impact of this change on ships is as follows: All ships constructed (having their keel laid) on or after Jan. 1, 2012, should carry liferafts approved on the basis of an average person mass of occupants of 82.5kg. The safe working load (SWL) of any davits used for launching these liferafts should be adequate for their fully laden weight.

All ships constructed before January 1, 2012, may continue to use liferafts approved on the basis of an average person mass of occupants of 75kg. It is acceptable for “75kg liferafts” on these vessels to be exchanged at service intervals with “82.5kg liferafts” and vice versa at a subsequent service. It is also acceptable for these vessels to have both 75kg and 82.5kg liferafts onboard at the same time.

On passenger ships constructed before January 1, 2012, Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1347 permits the determination of the required SWL of a liferaft launching appliance to continue to be based on an assumed occupant mass of 75kg, even though the liferaft has been tested to a higher weight standard. The installation and periodic “lowering test" should also continue to be based on an assumed occupant mass of 75kg.

The amendments were adopted at the 87th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 87) through Resolution MSC.293(87).