Life-Saving Appliances - What to Check?

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Life-Saving Appliances checklist help to ensure that ship personnel are trained in how to inspect, maintain and operate life-saving equipment, and that equipment is ready for use at all times.

Life-Saving Appliances checklist will help reduce the risk of Port State Control detentions, as it includes a list of deficiencies relating to life-saving appliances found by PSC officers.

The following items but not limited to should be ready at always to avoid detention by any authorities.


01. Cargo ship safety equipment or Passenger ship safety equipment certificate.

* including the record of safety equipment (Form E or Form P).

02. Cargo Ship Safety Radio Certificate.

* including the record of equipment (Form R)

03. Lifeboat Certificate ( 1. One Yearly cert., 2. Five yearly cert.)

* including certificate of approval and for self-contained air support system, fire

protection and on-load release gear, if provided.

04. Rescue boat Certificate ( 1.One Yearly cert., 2.Five yearly cert.)

* including with release gear arrangement, certificate of approval.

05. Liferaft Certificate (One Yearly service by approved shore station).

* certificate of approval, Hydrostatic release unit (HRU).

06. Launching appliances.

* certificate of approval for davits, including liferaft davits if fitted.

07. Air supply bottles hydrostatic test, if fitted in Lifeboat.

08. Search and Rescue Radar Transponder (SART).

* One Yearly service by approved shore station.

09. Emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).

* One Yearly service by approved shore station.

10. Fire extinguisher in lifeboat & rescue boat.

* One yearly service by approved shore station.

11. Magnetic Compass in lifeboat & rescue boat.

* One yearly service by approved shore station.

DOCUMENTS & RECORDS: The following documents and records must be carried out on board and be current, original and approved.

01. Instruction for onboard maintenance or a shipboard planned maintenance programme


02. SOLAS training manual and onboard training aids.

03. Muster List and emergency instructions.

04. Radio station licence,

05. Record of inspection, maintenance, testing and drills.

* Photographic records with dates provide good evidence of drill being regularly held.

06. Records of crew familiarisation with fire and abandon ship drill.

07. Inspection and testing of life-saving and launching appliances.

* includes on-load release gear, if fitted.

08. Inspection and Testing communication equipment.

09. Inspection and Testing Lifeboat / Rescue boat engine.

* weekly test conducted and recorded.

10. Inspection and Testing Emergency Lighting.

Launching and Stowage Arrangements: Equipement should be well maintained, inspected regularly and ready for operation at all times.

01. Davits and Falls:

* All moving parts well greased and free,

* No corrosion, knife edges, cracks or holes,

* Correctly marked.,

* Winches and brakes maintained and in good order,

* Cut-out switches properly maintained,

* Fall wire maintained as per SOLAS

* Securing devices and termination properly maintained,

* Tricing pendant and man ropes maintained and rigged,

* Launching arrangements are to be checked annually by the manufacturer or a person

certified by the manufacturer,

* Recommendation: Deck at embarkation areas have a no-skid coating.

02. Bowsing tackles (if applicable) properly attached & Ready for use.

03. Embarkation arrangements:

* Adequate lighting, emergency lighting and sign,

* Embarkation ladder and securing arrangements in good condition and of adequate


* Applicable launching instruction displayed.

LIFEBOAT (all type)


01. Hull in good condition

* No deterioration is way of bearing surfaces,

* No Cracks in hull and boundary tanks or corners of thwarts and if required, all crack

repairs carried out using an approved means,

* Bilge keels not corroded and effectively attached,

* Grab lines effectively attached,

02. Connections to boat / raft in good condition

* Hanging hooks is not corroded,

* Keel plate connections and pins in good condition.


03. Starts readily

* Engine must be able to start without 'magic spray'.

* Start and Run engine at least 5 min in every week.

04. Battery charger connected and maintained.

* Check weekly and no lose connection which cause spark should not take place

05. Battery

* Check weekly to ensure charged,

06. Alternative starting arrangement (Hand Crank) present,

07. Exhaust protected (Insulated),

08. Sufficient fuel and no leaks of fuel or lubrication oil.


09. Rudder and stock in good working order,

10. Hook release mechanism well maintained,

11. Brake release arrangement functions correctly,

12. Bilge pump in good condition,

13. Plugs operable and free but permanently attached,

14. Lifeboat Painter in good condition and correctly rigged,

15. All markings clear and visible, including sear markings,

16. Grab rails and lanyards in good condition,

17. Onboard air system in good order, if provided,

18. Overall water-spray system tested and operational, if provided,

19. Operational instruction are correctly displayed inside and outside of lifeboat.

20. VHF radio telephone in good order, if provided,

21. Test for deterioration of gel coat and fiber layers and check for glazing of the gel coat,

22. The lifeboat capacity which is marked on the outside of the boat should be the same as

the number on the certificate of approval.


01. Correctly secure and stowed,

02. Seat belts and head restraints well maintained and in good order,

03. Hook release well-maintained and charged with hydraulic oil as necessary.

LIFEBOAT INVENTORY: a full list of lifeboat stores/inventory items can be found in the International Life Saving Appliance (LSA Code) a few as follows:

01. Distress flares in date,

02. Store correctly maintained & well stowed, including water and rations,

03. Buoyant oars and rowlocks, if required,

04. Protecting cover provided,

05. Sails provided, if required,

06. Sea anchor with shock-resistance hawser and a tripping line.


01. Stowed and positioned correctly,

02. Inventory Correct and up to date,

03. Check launching and recovery arrangement,

04. Lighting, emergency lighting operation and sign posted

05. Inflatable compartments appropriately pressurised,

06. Propeller guard in place,

07. Rescue boat personnel documented and fully familiar with all details of launching and


08. Engine serviced in accordance with the engine manual,

09. Start and Run engine at least 5 min in every week.

10. Sufficient fuel and no leaks of fuel,

11. Check complete inventory found in LSA CODE.


01. Weak link correctly positioned with ship and liferaft belt and HRU in date,

02. Number and capacity as per Form E (Cargo Ship) or Form P (Passenger Ship),

03. Fall wires maintained as per SOLAS,

04. Launching arrangement approved by manufacturer and instruction posted and clearly


05. Liferaft correctly stowed, Secure and clear of obstructions, and free from damage to

packaging and sealing,

06. Correctly position onboard,

07. Correctly marked with ship's name, servicing details, validity period and capacity,

08. Painter of adequate length according to the stowed height to the water.

Note: If a forward liferaft is required, it should be provided with an embarkation ladder, emergency lighting and the required number of Lifejackets. This also applies to the aft liferaft of many RO-RO ships and some other ships with forward accommodation.


01. Correct number and location with appropriate marking,

02. Lights and lines of correct type, fitted and rigged as per SOLAS & Lights in date,

03. Bridge wing man overboard light and smoke floats in date, correctly rigged, not damaged

and fitted to correct weight lifebuoys.

04. MOB lifebuoy quick release is free from obstruction.


01. Correct number and location with appropriate marking,

02. Infant lifejackets to be provided, if applicable, and marked, as necessary.

03. In good condition, securing tapes not knotted or rotten,

04. Lights in date and not cracked,

05. Serviced and in date, if applicable,

06. Equipped with operational whistle,

07. Reflective tape in good order


01. Appropriate quantity, correctly positioned and in good condition,

02. Size appropriate to the crew onboard,

03. Serviced first three year form manufacture date is not required and then each year & In date,


01. Float-free EPIRB checked for date verification of HRU (Hydrostatic release unit) and batteries,

02. EPIRB yearly serviced by approved shore station and in date,

03. SART, at least one provided on each side of the bridge and battery dates verified,

04. SART yearly serviced by approved shore station and in date.


01. On large ship with high accommodation blocks, which have lifeboats stowed considerably lower, SART may be stowed each side in the vicinity of the lifeboats.

02. In the case of stern-launched free-fall lifeboats, one SART kept on the bridge and one SART is kept in the vicinity of the lifeboat.


01. 2-way radio telephone 2 or 3 sets as per applicable to ship type and size is available,

02. Spare sealed lithium batteries available and in date for all set,

03. Sets are not used for general communication on board,


01. Check general emergency alarm are functional,


01. Appropriate numbers onboard,

02. Lines in good condition and inspected,

03. Instruction for use provided.


01. Bridge - 12 Rocket parachute flare, 6 Hand flare, 2 Buoyant smoke signal and in date,

02. Lifeboat - 6 Rocket parachute flare, 4 Hand flare, 2 Buoyant smoke signal and in date.

03. Pyrotechnics correctly stowed with sign and number & Readily available for immediate use.


Drill are to be carried out in accordance with SOLAS:

01. Check that the sheaves are running free,

02. Check winch operation, brakes and clutch,

03. Check man ropes,

04. Check condition and attachments of bowsing tackles,

05. Check davit limit switches,

06. Check crew familiarisation with fire and abandon ship drills.

Onboard Training and Instruction:

01. Manuals available, including maintenance,

02. Ongoing training and familiarisation with all equipment.

Manual as follows but not limited to:

01. Fire Training Manual,

02. Fire Safety Operational Booklet,

03. Maintenance Plan For Fire – Fighting System And Appliances,

04. SOLAS Training Manual.

Abandon Ship Drill:

01. Lifeboats and Rescue boats to be launched, lowered and maneuvered in water in accordance with SOLAS and flag administration requirements.

Man Overboard Drill:

01. Crew Musters,

02. Rescue Boat Launched,

03. Williamson turn completed.

NOTE: Please above checklist are reference only to check LSA item prior entering port and to reduce deficiency from PSC and should be ready always to avoid deficiency on various Inspection and survey,

The details of each item will further discuss as Subject.