Lloyds Register has issued a statutory alert regarding the introduction of mandatory requirements for passenger muster drills onboard ships sailing international voyages lasting more than 24 hours.
Adopted by Resolution MSC.350 (92), amendments to SOLAS regulations III/19.2.2 and III/19.2.3 will enter into force on 1 January 2015, and introduce mandatory requirements for passenger mustering and briefing before or on departure.
Changes to regulation III/19.2.2 mandate that operators should carry out muster drills before, or immediately on departure, for newly embarked passengers who are scheduled to be onboard the ship for more than 24 hours. The drills should include instructions about how to use the lifejackets and an outline of the actions to be taken in an emergency.
Meanwhile, amendments to regulation III/19.2.3 require operators to carry out a passenger safety briefing, which includes the instructions required by SOLAS regulations III/8.2 and III/8.4, immediately before or after departure.
The briefing, which can be included in the muster drill, must be communicated via the ship’s public address system – or another equivalent means – to ensure it is heard by all passengers. It must be announced in one or more languages that are likely to be understood by the passengers and can be supplemented by information cards, posters or videos.