Regulation 2(3)



1.1  All rigid liferafts prescribed in this Part shall:

1.1.1 be constructed with proper workmanship and materials;

1.1.2 not be damaged in stowage throughout the air temperature range of −30°C to 65°C;

1.1.3 be capable of operating throughout an air temperature range of −30°C to +65°C, and a sea water temperature range of −1°C to +30°C;

1.1.4 be rot-proof, corrosion-resistant, and not be unduly affected by sea-water, oil or fungal attack;

1.1.5 be resistant to deterioration from exposure to sunlight;

1.1.6 have a canopy of a highly visible colour;

1.1.7 be fitted with retro-reflective material where this will assist in detection and the dimensions and location of the material shall be to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State; and

1.1.8 when floating with the canopy uppermost be stable in a seaway.


2.1  Every liferaft shall be so constructed as to be capable of withstanding exposure for 30 days afloat in all sea conditions without such deterioration as would involve any loss of seaworthiness.

2.2  The liferaft shall be so constructed that when it is dropped into the water from a height of at least 18 metres, the liferaft and its equipment will operate satisfactorily. If the liferaft is to be stowed at a height of more than 18 metres above the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition, it shall be of a type which has been satisfactorily drop-tested from at least that height.

2.3  The floating liferaft shall be capable of withstanding repeated jumps on to it from a height of at least 4.5 metres above its floor both with and without the canopy erected.

2.4  The liferaft and its fittings shall be so constructed as to enable it to be towed at a speed of 3 knots in calm water when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment and with one of its sea-anchors streamed.

2.5  The liferaft shall have a canopy to protect the occupants from exposure which is automatically set in place when the liferaft is launched and waterborne. The canopy shall comply with the following:

2.5.1 it shall provide insulation against heat and cold by means of either two layers of material separated by an air gap or other equally efficient means; means shall be provided to prevent accumulation of water in the air gap;

2.5.2 its interior shall be of a colour that does not cause discomfort to the occupants;

2.5.3 each entrance shall be clearly indicated and be provided with efficient adjustable closing arrangements which can be easily and quickly opened from inside and outside the liferaft so as to permit ventilation but exclude seawater, wind and cold; liferafts accommodating more than eight persons shall have at least two diametrically opposite entrances;

2.5.4 it shall admit sufficient air for the occupants at all times, even with the entrances closed;

2.5.5 it shall be provided with at least one viewing port;

2.5.6 it shall be provided with means for collecting rain water; and

2.5.7 it shall have sufficient headroom for seated occupants under all parts of the canopy.

2.6  The buoyancy of the liferaft shall be provided by approved inherently buoyant material placed as near as possible to the periphery of the liferaft. The buoyant material shall be fire- retardant or be protected by a fire-retardant covering.

2.7  The floor of the liferaft shall prevent the ingress of water and shall effectively support the occupants out of the water and insulate them from cold.

2.8  The number of persons which a liferaft shall be permitted to accommodate shall be equal to the lesser of:

2.8.1 the greatest whole number obtained by dividing by 0.096 the volume, measured in cubic metres of the buoyancy material multiplied by a factor of 1 minus the specific gravity of that material; or

2.8.2 the greatest whole number obtained by dividing by 0.372 the horizontal cross-sectional area of the floor of the liferaft measured in square metres; or

2.8.3 the number of persons having an average mass of 75 kg, all wearing lifejackets, that can be seated with sufficient comfort and headroom without interfering with the operation of any of the liferaft’s equipment.

2.9  No liferaft shall be approved which has a carrying capacity of less than six persons calculated in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 2.8.

2.10  Unless the liferaft is to be launched by an approved launching appliance complying with the requirements of Part III of Schedule 6 and is not required to be portable, the total mass of the liferaft, its container, and equipment shall not be more than 185 kg.

Liferaft Fittings

3.1  Lifelines shall be securely becketed around the inside and outside of the liferaft.

3.2  The liferaft shall be provided with arrangements for adequately siting and securing in the operating position the antenna provided with the portable radio apparatus where this is required to be carried.

3.3  The liferaft shall be fitted with an effficient painter of length equal to not less than twice the distance from the stowed position to the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition or 15 metres whichever is the greater.

3.4  The breaking strength of the painter system including its means of attachment to the liferaft except the weak link required by Part VI of Schedule 4 shall be:

3.4.1 7.5 kilonewtons for liferafts accommodating up to 8 persons;

3.4.2 10.0 kilonewtons for liferafts accommodating 9 to 25 persons;

3.4.3 15.0 kilonewtons for liferafts accommodating more than 25 persons or have a factor of safey of 3 in association with the requirement of paragraph 2.4 above whichever is the greater.

3.5  At least one entrance shall be fitted with a rigid boarding ramp to enable persons to board the liferaft from the sea. In the case of a davit-launched liferaft having more than one entrance, the boarding ramp shall not be fitted at the entrance where bowsing lines and embarkation facilities are fitted.

3.6  Entrances not provided with a boarding ramp shall have a boarding ladder. The lowest step of which shall be weighted and float at a level not less than 0.4 metres below the liferaft’s light waterline.

3.7  There shall be means inside the liferaft to assist persons to pull themselves into the liferaft from the ladder.

3.8  Unless the liferaft is capable of operating safely whichever way up it is floating, its strength and stability shall be such that it is either self-righting or can be readily righted in a seaway and in calm water by one person.

3.9  The stability of a liferaft when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment shall be such that it can be towed at speeds of up to 3 knots in calm water.

3.10  At least one manually controlled lamp complying with the requirements of Part VII of Schedule 4 shall be fitted to the top outside of the liferaft canopy.

3.11  A manually controlled lamp complying with the requirements of Part VII of Schedule 4 shall be fitted inside the liferaft.

3.12  Each rigid liferaft shall be fitted with equipment complying with the relevant requirements of Part IV of this Schedule.

Markings on rigid liferafts

4.1  The liferafts shall be marked with:

4.1.1   name and port of registry of the ship to which it belongs;

4.1.2   maker’s name or trade mark;

4.1.3   serial number;


4.1.5   number of persons it is permitted to accommodate over each entrance in characters not less than 100mm. in height of a colour contrasting with that of the liferaft;

4.1.6   SOLAS 86;

4.1.7   type of emergency pack enclosed;

4.1.8   length of painter;

4.1.9   date of manufacture (month and year);

4.1.10 maximum permitted height of stowage above waterline (depending on drop-test height and length of painter); and

4.1.11 launching instructions.

Davit-launched rigid liferafts

5.1  In addition to the above requirements, a rigid liferaft for use with an approved launching appliance complying with Part III of Schedule 6 shall:

5.1.1 when suspended from its lifting hook or bridle, withstand a load of 4 times the mass of its full complement of persons and equipment;

5.1.2 when the liferaft is loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment, be capable of withstanding a lateral impact against the ship’s side at an impact velocity of not less than 3.5 metres per second and also a drop into the water from a height of not less than 3 metres without damage that will affect its function;

5.1.3 be provided with means for bringing the liferaft alongside the embarkation deck and holding it securely during embarkation; the distance between the liferaft and the bowsing line securing point shall be kept to a miminum to restrict movement of the liferaft during boarding.

5.2  Every davit-launched liferaft shall be so arranged that it can be rapidly boarded by its full complement of persons.

6.  Instructions and Information

6.1  Instructions and information required for inclusion in the training manual specified in Part I of Schedule 11, and in the instructions for on-board maintenance specified in Part II of Schedule 11 shall be in a form suitable for inclusion in such training manual and instructions for on-board maintenance. Instructions and information shall be in English in a clear and concise form and shall include the following:

6.1.1   general description of the liferaft and its equipment;

6.1.2   installation arrangements;

6.1.3   operational instructions including use of associated survival equipment;

6.1.4   survival instructions;

6.1.5   emergency repair instructions;

6.1.6   deployment, boarding and launching instructions;

6.1.7   method of launching from within the raft;

6.1.8   release from launching appliance;

6.1.9   on board maintenance requirements; and

6.1.10 servicing requirements.