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SOLAS amendments on lifeboat safety enter into force

Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) aimed at preventing accidents during lifeboat launching entered into force on 1 January 2013.
The amendments, adopted in May 2011, add a new paragraph 5 to SOLAS regulation III/1, to require lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with new International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code requirements to be replaced, no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after 1 July 2014 but, in any case, not later than 1 July 2019.
The SOLAS amendment is intended to establish new, stricter, safety standards for lifeboat release and retrieval systems, and will require the assessment and possible replacement of a large number of lifeboat release hooks.
Information submitted by flag States on their assessments of existing lifeboat hooks is available on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) under Evaluation of Hooks.

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