Rule reference

  • Order no. 1154 of 19/11/2019 on the construction and equipment, etc. of ships, implementation of the International Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended, chapter III, regulation 34.

Other references

  • MSC.81(70), Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances, part 2, paragraph 5.4.
  • MSC.1/Circ. 1206/Rev.1, Measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats.

Explanatory note

According to MSC.81(70) part 2, paragraph 5.4 regarding production and installation test of a survival craft, the following is required: It should be demonstrated that the fully equipped lifeboat on cargo ships of 20,000 gross tons or more and rescue boat (regardless of tonnage) can be launched from a ship proceeding ahead at a speed of not less than 5 knots in calm water and on an even keel. There should be no damage to the lifeboat or the rescue boat or their equipment as a result of this test.

Although the responsibility for conducting the testing lies with the manufacturer or its representative, ship’s crew may be requested to assist in performing the test. Companies have raised safety concerns relating to the launching of lifeboats whilst the ship is underway at 5 knots.


Post-installation test

The Danish Maritime Authority can accept that post-installation tests of survival crafts are carried out in two steps:

  • 5-knot towing test by lowering the life-/rescue boat into the water without releasing it, no persons need to be on board the life-/rescue boat during this test.
  • Test of the release mechanism may be performed with the vessel stopped.

Alternative means for achieving 5 knots

The Danish Maritime Authority accepts alternative equivalent testing methods to achieve 5 knots, which may include i.e.:

  • Creating a wash of 5 knots induced by a vessel located forward of the launching position or with both vessels securely moored to quay.
  • Use of tidal streams.

It must be ensured that the water is moving at the required speed to a depth deeper than the survival craft draft.



Contact: ro@dma.dk