Pains Wessex is supporting International Life-saving Appliances Manufacturers’ Association, ILAMA, in its aim to tighten regulations for dated marine distress signals in annually-serviced liferaft.

ILAMA calls for dated items in liferafts to be replaced if they are due to go out of date before the next annual service. At the moment, Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) regulations require that dated items only need to be replaced if they have lesss than six months’ life left.

“In exceptional circumstances, ships can be allowed up to a five month extension if they are not near an approved service station,” says Pains Wessex product manager Keith Bradford, who represents parent company Chemring Marine on ILAMA. “That could mean a marine distress signal is eleven months out of date before being replaced.”

Call for stricter replacement rules

Bradford continues: “Even worse, some stations leave dated items in if they are still one month within date, so those products could then be seventeen months out of date before being replaced. This move follows previous ILAMA recommendations to replace out of date products in extended liferaft services, which are conducted every thirty months.”

The annual servicing proposals were discussed at an ILAMA Technical Committee meeting in late January 2010 and will now go forward to an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Design and Equipment meeting in London. The meeting will be attended by ILAMA’s permanent representative, supported by a team of specialists.

ILAMA, a non-governmental organisation, also calls for action to combat counterfeit and sub-standard safety products and to get Notified Bodies to more effectively police the market.