IMO Safety Committee Expected to Approve Training Amendments

The committee meets this week in London with a packed agenda, including approval of draft amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and creation of a passenger ship safety working group.

The International Maritime Organization's Maritime Safety Committee begins a five-day meeting Nov. 26 in London with a packed agenda, including approval of draft amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) on emergency training and drills. The committee is expected to create a working group on passenger ship safety to consider relevant issues, including an action plan developed after the Costa Concordia grounding off the coast of an Italian island. The committee members will receive an update from the government of Italy on the status of the Costa Concordia casualty investigation.

The new SOLAS regulation III/19, on emergency training and drills, will require crew members with enclosed-space entry or rescue responsibilities to participate in an enclosed-space entry and rescue drill at least once every two months. Other items on the committee’s agenda involve piracy and armed robbery against ships, draft amendments to SOLAS regulation III/17-1 to require ships to have plans and procedures to recover people from the water, a new draft SOLAS regulation II-1/3-12 to require new ships to be constructed to reduce on-board noise and to protect personnel from noise, draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/10 on firefighting to require duplicate two-way portable radiotelephone apparatus for firefighters' communication to be carried, and draft amendments to regulation II-2/15 requiring an on-board means of recharging breathing apparatus cylinders used during drills, or a suitable number of spare cylinders.

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