Advisory Type: Compliance
Information Source: IMO MSC
With the broadening and deepening issue of large scale irregular migration by sea near the top of all prudent shipping companies’ agenda (see Allmode Best management Practices For Large Scale Rescue Operations At Sea) it is worthwhile to revisit the recent implementation of SOLAS III/17-1, which came into force on the 1st July 2014.
SOLAS regulation III/17-1 requires all ships to be provided with ship specific plans, procedures and risk assessments for the recovery of persons from the water.
These plans should minimise risk to the rescued persons, and the rescuing crew and vessel from risk posed by natural and man-made hazards.
They should form part of the Emergency Contingency plan, as mandated by Paragraph 8 of the ISM code, while maintaining compliance with ISPS, MLC and all other mandatory regulations.
In support of the preparation of these plans the IMO has published MSC.1/Circ.1447 “Guidelines For The Development Of Plans And Procedures For The Recovery Of Persons From The Water”, in turn supported by MSC.1/Circ.1182/Rev.1 “Guide To Recovery Techniques”, and MSC.1/Circ.1185/Rev.1 “Guide To Cold Water Survival”.
Ro-Pax ships which comply with regulation III/26.4 shall be deemed to already comply with III/17-1
Risks and Drawbacks
However, for all vessels, the recent developments in large scale migration and the likelihood of being called-upon to conduct a Large Scale Rescue Operation in the Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden or Andaman Sea, may have rendered these plans obsolete, and in need of a management review; requiring adapting, expanding or completely reconsidering.
The Health, Safety and Security considerations of rescuing and managing hundreds of migrants are such that a simple plan, developed to extract a handful of survivors safely from the water, simply will not do justice to the scale and complexity of the problem.
Allmode has prepared numerous documents and guidelines on this subject. Beginning with the Allmode Best management Practices For Large Scale Rescue Operations At Sea, and also an Allmode/PYA Aide Memoire (available on request).
While these documents are a valuable reference, they do not satisfy the definition of a “ship specific plan” as per the provisions of SOLAS III/17-1. Specific guidance for the development of these plans form the central subject matter of the “Management” stream of Allmode’s proprietary and unique “Rescue-Safe” package (See below flyer). The safe implementation of this plan is covered in the “Officers” and “Crew” streams of the same package, as well as our Crisis Management and Human Behaviour course, and suite of IOSH Health and Safety management and awareness courses.