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The Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances for Passenger Ships of Classes III to VI (A)) Regulations 1992

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PART IINHERENTLY BUOYANT LIFEJACKETS

Inherently buoyant lifejackets for persons weighing 32 kg or over shall comply with the following requirements:

Construction

1.1  An inherently buoyant lifejacket shall be constructed with proper workmanship and materials.

1.2  An inherently buoyant lifejacket shall be so constructed that:

1.2.1 after demonstration, a person can correctly don it within a period of 1 minute without assistance;

1.2.2 it is capable of being worn inside out or is clearly capable of being worn in only one way and, as far as is possible, cannot be donned incorrectly;

1.2.3 it is comfortable to wear; and

1.2.4 it allows the wearer to jump from a height of at least 4.5 metres into the water without injury and without dislodging or damaging the lifejacket.

1.3  It shall be so constructed that the buoyancy is not reduced by more than 5% after 24 hours submersion in fresh water.

1.4  It shall be fitted with a whistle firmly secured by a cord of suitable length. The whistle shall be non-metallic and not be adversely affected by water or humidity.

1.5  It shall be fitted with retro-reflective material where it will assist in detection, and the dimensions and location of the material shall be to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State.

1.6  It shall be fitted with a ring or loop or similar device of adequate strength to facilitate rescue.

Materials

2.1  As applicable, the materials of a lifejacket shall be rot-proof, corrosion resistant, not be unduly affected by sea-water, oil or fungal attack, and shall be resistant to deterioration due to exposure to sunlight.

2.2  Buoyancy material shall be of good quality synthetic material, or kapok.

2.3  Cover material where used shall be of good quality synthetic material, or pre-shrunk cotton material free of admixture of sizing or other foreign matter.

2.4  Cover material shall be of a highly visible colour such as traffic yellow (BS 381, Ref 368) international orange (BS 381, Ref 592) or a colour of equivalent conspicuity.

2.5  Where a synthetic cover material is used and the seams are stitched, the thread shall be of synthetic material. Where cotton cover material is used the thread shall be of natural fibre or a combination of synthetic and natural fibre.

2.6  Fastening tapes shall be not less than 32 mm wide and have a breaking strength of not less than 1.4 kilonewtons. Tapes of a synthetic material shall be capable of providing an equivalent degree of security when tied as that provided by cotton tapes.

Performance

3.1  An inherently buoyant lifejacket shall not be damaged in stowage throughout an air temperature range of −30°C to +65°C.

3.2  It shall operate throughout a sea-water temperature range of −1°C to +30°C.

3.3  It shall be capable of satisfactory operation in a sea-way.

3.4  It shall have sufficient buoyancy and stability in calm fresh water to:

3.4.1 lift the mouth of an exhausted or unconscious person not less than 120 mm clear of the water with the body inclined backwards at an angle of not less than 20° and not more than 50° from the vertical position; and

3.4.2 turn the body of an unconscious person in the water from any position to one where the mouth is clear of the water in not more than 5 seconds.

3.5  An inherently buoyant lifejacket shall allow the person wearing it to swim a short distance and to board a survival craft.

3.6  It shall not sustain burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped in a fire for a period of 2 seconds.

Marking

4.1  An inherently buoyant lifejacket shall be marked indelibly with:

4.1.1 the manufacturer’s name or trade mark and name of lifejacket, if any;

4.1.2 the words “PERSON OF 32 KG. OR MORE” on both sides of the lifejacket in letters not less than 12 mm in size in the case of lifejackets which can be worn inside out. In the case of lifejackets which can only be worn one way the marking shall be on the outside of the lifejacket;

4.1.3 the words “DOT (UK) APPROVED” in letters not less than 12 mm in size;

4.1.4 the year of manufacture; and

4.1.5 the word “FRONT” on both sides of the front part of the lifejacket in letters not less than 12 mm in size in the case of lifejackets which can be worn inside out. In the case of lifejackets which can only be worn one way the markings shall be on the outside of the front part of the lifejacket.

5.  Inherently buoyant lifejackets for persons weighing less than 32 kg shall comply with the requirements of paras 1.1 to 6.1 except that in para 4.1.2 they shall be marked with the word “CHILD”. Such lifejackets shall provide a minimum buoyancy of 66.7 newtons in fresh water. The buoyancy shall not be reduced by more than 5% after 24 hours submersion in fresh water.

Instructions and Information

6.1  Instructions and information required for inclusion in the training manual specified in Part I of Schedule 11 shall be in a form suitable for inclusion in such a training manual. Instructions and information shall be in English in a clear and concise form and shall include the donning and securing of the lifejacket.

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