Learn about how the ISO 27991 standard can help maritime management plan for evacuations safely and effectively.
Published 18 Nov 2022
The ISO 27991:2008 specification provides guidance on communicating between a Marine Evacuation System (MES) and the platform or survival craft it is attached to, as required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation III/6.4.4. It recommends exchanging a minimum set of data between the MES and the platform or survival craft to ensure the occupants' safety during an evacuation.
The benefits of implementing the ISO 27991:2008 specification include the following:
Some of the unique marine evacuation systems available are as follows:
The entrance and exit of the MES passage typically have a controller and receiver, respectively. The messages that require communication apply to all MES systems, regardless of height or configuration (slide/chute/etc.). It supports controlled and safe evacuations and provides feedback during an evacuation.
*If the communications system fails, there should be a clear plan for alternative means of communication, as outlined in either the MES operating manual or vessel training manual.
Whenever possible, communication devices on board a ship should be positioned ergonomically and in a way that doesn’t interfere with the operation of other life-saving devices, especially those near the equipment. It shall be able to function correctly for the duration of an evacuation. The following are some considerations to keep in mind:
The Marine Evacuation System (MES) is a life-saving device that evacuates people from a boat or ship quickly and safely. The MES doesn’t take up a lot of space and can usually be deployed by one person, making it ideal for use in an emergency. MES aims to safely evacuate as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible.
The MES has 5 main components as follows:
Means of communication can be divided into two categories: visual and audible. Some examples are given below.
There are four stages to an effective abandon ship procedure:
Stage 1: Notification and Mustering
Everyone on board is notified that they must evacuate the vessel by sounding the alarm. Muster instructions should be given in addition to the distress signal.
Stage 2: Lowering the Abandoned Ship Means Into Water
During this stage, the MES is deployed into the water. Releasing a catch or handle allows the chute and rafts to slide into the water.
Stage 3: Embarking
Only the assigned crew should lower the boat into the water using davits or cranes once the side boat and normal lowering procedure are in place.
The safety officer oversees the brake control, which is at the Master’s discretion. The rest of the crew will board using a side pilot ladder; the Master will be last to board.
Stage 4: Debriefing
This stage is only applicable for drills. Following the drill, the safety officer should take everyone on board the drill’s events, ensuring all aspects of its execution are discussed. Equipment usage and lowering/deploying abandoned ship means (boats or rafts) should receive special attention.
The maritime industry relies on effective communication to maintain safety and operations. Communication among marine community members is crucial when an emergency occurs to coordinate a response. SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) is a multi-platform app that can do just that. With SafetyCulture, you can do the following:
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He is a content writer who also does copy for websites, sales pages, and landing pages. Rob worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade before joining SafetyCulture. He got interested in writing because of the influence of his friends; aside from writing, he has an interest in personal finance, dogs, and collecting Allen Iverson cards.
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