1. The Maritime Administration of Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) vide Marine Safety Advisory No. 08-23 has informed that significant number of deficiencies (both during Flag and Port State Inspections) have been observed relating to the condition of immersion suits.
2. Further, the Administration has informed that since 1 January 2023, immersion suit defects account for nearly one-third of all lifesaving related deficiencies identified during flag State inspections of RMI flagged ships. Commonly observed defects include:
a. Defective or inoperable zippers;
b. Failed seams;
c. Holes or other defects in immersion suit material;
d. Inoperative or missing light and/or whistle; and
e. Overdue air pressure testing.
Note: Of the above, deteriorated or inoperable zippers account for the largest percentage of observed defects. Defects or failures of seams of immersion suits are the next most commonly observed defects.
3. In view of above, it is recommended that all owners, operators and Masters take the following actions to raise awareness of the importance of properly inspecting and maintaining immersion suits:
a. Review the requirements prescribed by the Company’s Safety Management System (SMS) relating to the periodic (monthly) inspection of all immersion suits to ensure they adequately address the requirements contained in IMO Circular – MSC/Circ. 1047;
b. Ensure zippers are fully closed and opened during monthly check to ensure smooth operation throughout the zipper’s length;
c. Ensure crewmembers responsible for conducting periodic inspections of immersion suits are properly trained and knowledgeable in the inspection procedure;
d. Review the requirements prescribed by the Company’s SMS relating to air pressure testing of all immersion suits to ensure they adequately address the requirements contained in IMO Circular – MSC/Circ. 1114;
e. Confirm that the number of immersion suits on board are in accordance with the Safety Equipment Certificate, Form E, in serviceable condition, and immediately available at the prescribed location;
f. Ensure that all crewmembers are familiar with the location on board where immersion suits are stored; and
g. Immediately notify the Flag Administration if defective immersion suits are identified and the number of immersion suits in satisfactory condition does not meet that required by Form E.
This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.