Merchant Shipping Act 2010


Safety Measures

Rules for life-saving appliances and arrangements.

82.— (1) The Minister may, in relation to any ships to which this section applies, make rules (“rules for life-saving appliances”) prescribing the requirements for life-saving appliances and arrangements for those ships.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) may provide for all or any of the following matters:

(a) the number, description and mode of construction of the survival craft, boats, life-rafts, line-throwing appliances, life-jackets and lifebuoys and other life-saving appliances to be carried by ships according to the classes in which the ships are arranged,

(b) the equipment to be carried by any such survival craft, boats and rafts and the methods to be provided to get into the water the survival crafts, boats and other life-saving appliances,

(c) the provision in ships of a proper supply of lights inextinguishable in water, and fitted for attachment to lifebuoys,

(d) the quantity, quality and description of buoyant apparatus to be carried on board ships, either in addition to or in substitution for survival craft, boats, life-rafts, life-jackets and lifebuoys,

(e) the position and means of securing the survival craft, boats, life-rafts, life-jackets and lifebuoys,

(f) the marking of the boats, survival craft, life-rafts and buoyant apparatus so as to show their dimensions and the number of persons authorised to be carried on them,

(g) the manning of the lifeboats and the qualifications and certificates of lifeboat personnel,

(h) the provision to be made for mustering the persons on board, and for embarking them in the boats (including provision for the lighting of, and the means of egress to and ingress from, different parts of the ship),

(i) the provision of suitable means situated outside the engine-room whereby any discharge of water into the boats can be prevented,

(j) the assignment of specific duties to each member of the crew in the event of emergency,

(k) the practice in ships of boat-drills and fire-drills,

(l) the provision in ships of means of making effective distress signals by day and by night,

(m) the provision in ships engaged in voyages in which pilots are likely to be embarked, of suitable pilot ladders or hoists and of ropes, lights and other appliances designed to make the use of such ladders or hoists safe,

(n) the examination and maintenance at intervals to be prescribed by the rules of any appliances or equipment required by the rules to be carried,

(o) the methods to be adopted and the appliances to be carried in ships for the prevention, detection and extinction of fire, and

(p) the provision in ships of plans or other information relating to the means of preventing, detecting, controlling and extinguishing outbreaks of fire.

(3) In making rules for life-saving appliances the Minister may categorise ships into different classes, where appropriate, having regard to one or more of the following:

(a) the service for which such ships are to be employed;

(b) the nature and duration of voyages to be undertaken;

(c) the number of passengers, ships crew or other persons, or all of them, that such ships are designed to carry on board;

(d) such other matter or matters that the Minister considers appropriate to take into account in the circumstances.

(4) Different rules for life-saving appliances may be made in respect of different classes of ships and in relation to different classes of ships for different circumstances and different areas of operation.

(5) This section applies to Irish ships and to any other ship while it is within any port in the State, unless it would not have been in any such port but for stress of weather or any other circumstance that neither the master nor the owner of the ship could have prevented or forestalled.

(6) Rules for life-saving appliances shall include such requirements as appear to the Minister to be necessary to implement the provisions of the Safety Convention relating to life-saving appliances and arrangements.

(7) It is the duty of the owner and master of every ship to which this section applies to see that the ship is provided, in accordance with rules for life-saving appliances, with such of those appliances as, having regard to the nature of the service on which the ship is employed, and the avoidance of undue encumbrance of the ship’s deck, are best adapted for securing the safety of the ship’s crew and passengers.

(8) In the case of any ship to which this section applies—

(a) if the ship is required by the rules for life-saving appliances to be provided with such appliances and proceeds on any voyage or excursion without being so provided in accordance with the rules applicable to the ship,

(b) if any of the appliances with which the ship is so provided are lost or rendered unfit for service in the course of the voyage or excursion through the wilful fault or negligence of the owner or master,

(c) if the master wilfully neglects to replace or repair on the first opportunity any such appliances lost or injured in the course of the voyage or excursion,

(d) if such appliances are not kept so as to be at all times fit and ready for use, or

(e) if any provision of rules for life-saving appliances is not complied with,

then the owner of the ship (if in fault) and the master of the ship (if in fault) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000.

(9) (a) A surveyor of ships may board and inspect any ship for the purpose of seeing that the rules for life-saving appliances have been complied with in every case.

(b) If the surveyor finds that the rules for life-saving appliances have not been complied with, he or she shall give written notice to the owner or master stating in what respect the rules have not been complied with.

(c) A surveyor of ships may board and inspect any ship for the purposes of seeing that a notice under this subsection has been complied with.

(d) A surveyor of ships may for the purposes of an inspection make such tests (either on the ship or ashore or at dock), ask such questions, inspect such documents or records and have access to such appliances as he or she considers appropriate for that purpose.

(e) If a ship, in respect of which a notice has been given to its owner or master under this subsection which requires compliance with the rules in accordance with the notice before the ship proceeds to sea, proceeds or attempts to proceed to sea without such compliance as required in the notice, then the master or owner (as the case may be) commits an offence and is liable—

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5,000, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €100,000.

(10) The following are repealed—

(a) sections 427 to 431 of the Principal Act, and

(b) sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Act of 1952,

(c) section 10 of the Act of 1966,

(d) section 6 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1981 .