U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 10, 2020
(a) Operational readiness. Before the vessel leaves port and at all times during the voyage, each lifesaving appliance must be in working order and ready for immediate use.
(b) Maintenance. (1) The manufacturer's instructions for onboard maintenance of lifesaving appliances must be on board the vessel. The following must be provided for each appliance.
(i) Checklists for use when carrying out the inspections required under paragraph (e) of this section.
(ii) Maintenance and repair instructions.
(iii) A schedule of periodic maintenance.
(iv) A diagram of lubrication points with the recommended lubricants.
(v) A list of replaceable parts.
(vi) A list of sources of spare parts.
(vii) A log for records of inspections and maintenance.
(2) In lieu of compliance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the OCMI may accept a shipboard planned maintenance program that includes the items listed in that paragraph.
(c) Spare parts and repair equipment. Spare parts and repair equipment must be provided for each lifesaving appliance and component that is subject to excessive wear or consumption and that needs to be replaced regularly.
(d) Weekly inspections and tests. (1) Each survival craft, rescue boat, and launching appliance must be visually inspected to ensure its readiness for use.
(2) Each lifeboat engine and rescue boat engine must be run ahead and astern for a total of not less than 3 minutes unless the ambient temperature is below the minimum temperature required for starting the engine. During this time, demonstrations should indicate that the gear box and gear box train are engaging satisfactorily. If the special characteristics of an outboard motor fitted to a rescue boat would not allow the outboard motor to be run other than with its propeller submerged for a period of 3 minutes, the outboard motor should be run for such period as prescribed in the manufacturer's handbook.
(3) The general alarm system must be tested.
(e) Monthly inspections. (1) Each lifesaving appliance, including lifeboat equipment, must be inspected monthly using the checklists required under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section to make sure the appliance and the equipment are complete and in good working order. A report of the inspection, including a statement as to the condition of the equipment, must be recorded in the vessel's official logbook.
(2) Each EPIRB and each SART, other than an EPIRB or SART in an inflatable liferaft, must be tested monthly. The EPIRB must be tested using the integrated test circuit and output indicator to determine that it is operative.
(f) Annual inspections. Annual inspections must include the following:
(1) Each survival craft, except for inflatable craft, must be stripped, cleaned, and thoroughly inspected and repaired, as needed, at least once each year and each fuel tank must be emptied, cleaned, and refilled with fresh fuel.
(2) Each davit, winch, fall, and other launching appliance must be thoroughly inspected and repaired, as needed, once each year.
(3) Each item of survival equipment with an expiration date must be replaced during the annual inspection if the expiration date has passed.
(4) Each battery clearly marked with an expiration date and used in an item of survival equipment must be replaced during the annual inspection if the expiration date has passed.
(5) Except for a storage battery used in a lifeboat or rescue boat, each battery without an expiration date that is used in an item of survival equipment must be replaced during the annual inspection.
(g) Servicing of inflatable lifesaving appliances, inflated rescue boats, and marine evacuation systems. (1) Each inflatable lifesaving appliance and marine evacuation system must be serviced -
(i) Within 12 months of its initial packing; and
(ii) Within 12 months of each subsequent servicing, except when servicing is delayed until the next scheduled inspection of the vessel, provided the delay does not exceed 5 months.
(2) Each inflatable lifejacket must be serviced in accordance with servicing procedures meeting the requirements of part 160, subpart 160.176 of this chapter. Each hybrid inflatable lifejacket must be serviced in accordance with the owner's manual and meet the requirements of part 160, subpart 160.077 of this chapter.
(3) An inflatable liferaft or inflatable buoyant apparatus must be serviced at a facility specifically approved by the Commandant for the particular brand, and in accordance with servicing procedures meeting the requirements of part 160, subpart 160.151, of this chapter -
(i) No later than the month and year on its servicing sticker affixed under 46 CFR 160.151-57(n), except that servicing may be delayed until the next scheduled inspection of the vessel, provided that the delay does not exceed 5 months; and
(ii) Whenever the container is damaged or the container straps or seals are broken.
(4) Each inflated rescue boat must be repaired and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. All repairs to inflated chambers must be made at a servicing facility approved by the Commandant, except for emergency repairs carried out on board the vessel.
(h) Periodic servicing of hydrostatic release units. Each hydrostatic release unit, other than a disposable hydrostatic release unit, must be serviced in accordance with repair and testing procedures meeting the requirements of part 160, subpart 160.062 of this chapter -
(1) Within 12 months of its manufacture; and
(2) Within 12 months of each subsequent servicing, except when servicing is delayed until the next scheduled inspection of the vessel, provided the delay does not exceed 5 months.
(i) Periodic servicing of launching appliances and release gear. (1) Launching appliances must be serviced at the intervals recommended in the manufacturer's instructions or as set out in the shipboard planned maintenance program.
(2) Launching appliances must be thoroughly examined at intervals not exceeding 5 years and, upon completion of the examination, the launching appliance must be subjected to a dynamic test of the winch brake.
(3) Lifeboat and rescue boat release gear must be serviced at the intervals recommended in the manufacturer's instructions, or as set out in the shipboard-planned-maintenance program.
(4) Lifeboat and rescue boat release gear must be subjected to a thorough examination by properly trained personnel familiar with the system at each inspection for certification.
(5) Lifeboat and rescue boat release gear must be operationally tested under a load of 1.1 times the total mass of the lifeboat when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment whenever overhauled or at least once every 5 years.
(j) Maintenance of falls. (1) Each fall used in a launching appliance must -
(i) Be turned end-for-end at intervals of not more than 30 months; and
(ii) Be renewed when necessary due to deterioration or at intervals of not more than 5 years, whichever is earlier.
(2) As an alternative to paragraph (j)(1) of this section, each fall may -
(i) Be inspected annually; and
(ii) Be renewed whenever necessary due to deterioration or at intervals of not more than 4 years, whichever is earlier.
(k) Rotational deployment of marine evacuation systems. In addition, to or in conjunction with, the servicing intervals of marine evacuation systems required by paragraph (g)(1) of this section, each marine evacuation system must be deployed from the vessel on a rotational basis. Each marine evacuation system must be deployed at least once every 6 years.