ISO Panel Updates Sea Anchors Standard

Robin Townsend, chair of the ISO technical subcommittee that developed the 17339:2018 standard, said it "is designed to provide manufacturers with what is required to ensure the anchors not only work effectively, but withstand the conditions in which they are stored. It also features test methods such as for strength, towing, and corrosion."

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a revised standard for rescue boats' sea anchors. ISO 17339:2018, Ships and marine technology – Life saving and fire protection – Sea anchors for survival craft and rescue boats, was developed by the maritime safety subcommittee of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology. The subcommittee's secretariat is held by ANSI.

A sea anchor is a key component of a drifting waterborne craft, allowing it to keep the preferred angle to wind direction, enhancing its stability, and reducing its drift speed. The International Life-Saving Appliance Code prescribes the use of sea anchors for survival craft and rescue boats, but the revised recommendation on testing of lifesaving appliances does not provide requirements of performance and testing procedure for the sea anchors. The 17339:2108 document addresses the areas on which the IMO recommendation is silent, and its guidelines have now been brought in line with the International Maritime Organization’s International Life-Saving Appliance Code.

Robin Townsend, chair of the ISO technical subcommittee that developed the standard, said it "is designed to provide manufacturers with what is required to ensure the anchors not only work effectively, but withstand the conditions in which they are stored. It also features test methods such as for strength, towing, and corrosion."

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