It is the duty of the captain and his officers to guarantee that a ship is in compliance with the minimum number of life jackets, and that the ship respects the requirements dictated by the solas. Life jacket also known as a personal floating device must respect all the detailed requirements indicated in chapter 2 of the life saving appliance code.
In this article we will take a look at all the requirements specified in the solas, regarding size, characteristics, and tests for life jackets that must be performed by officers on board of ships and by the constructor of life jackets.
What is a SOLAS approved life jacket?
A Solas approved life jacket is a life jacket that respects all the characteristics and requirements dictated in the Lsa Code. To give you a detailed knowledge, you can take a look at the general characteristics that an approved life jacket of Solas must possess.
General requirements of life jacket as per solas
A lifejacket shall not in burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped in a fire fm ,a period of 2 s.
Life jacket size requirements as per solas
Three sizes of the life jackets must be present on board of ships. Furthermore the Lifejackets shall be marked by either weight and height, or by both weight and height, according to table below.
|Less than 15||15 or more but |
less than 43
|43 or more|
|Height (cm)||Less than 100||100 or more|
but less than
|155 or more|
In addition If an adult life jacket is not designed to fit persons weighing up to 140 kg and with a chest girth of up to 1,750 mm, suitable accessories shall be available to allow it to be secured to such persons.
Life jacket Characteristics as Lsa Code:
- At least 75% of persons who are completely unfamiliar with the lifejacket can correctly do it within a period of 1 min without assistance, guidance or prior demonstration;
- After demonstration, all persons can correctly done it within a period of 1 min without assistance;
- it is clearly capable of being worn in only one way or inside out and, if donned incorrectly, it is not injurious to the wearer
- The method of securing the lifejacket to the wearer has quick and positive means of closure.
- it is comfortable to wear and
- it allows the user to Jump into the water from a height of at least 4.5 m While holding on. to the lifejacket, and from a height o( at least 1 m with arms held overhead, without injury ) without dislodging or damaging the lifejacket or its
Test of life jacket according to LSA code:
The part 188.8.131.52 Of the LSA Code Dictated:
When tested according to the recommendations of the Organization on at least 12 persons, adult life jackets shall have sufficient buoyancy and stability in calm fresh water to:
- lift the mouth of exhausted or unconscious persons by an average height of not less than the average provided by the adult RTD;
- turn the body of unconscious, face-down persons in the water to a position where the mouth is clear of the water in an average time not exceeding that of the RTD, with the number of persons not turned by the lifejacket no greater than that of the RTD; incline the body backwards from the vertical position for an average torso angle of not less than that of the RTD minus so;
- lift the head above horizontal for an average face plane angle of not less than that of the RTD minus so; and
- return the wearer to a stable face-up position after being destabilized when floating in the flexed foetal position.
In addition, the life jacket must allow the possibility of swimming in the water for a short distance.
Child life jacket Construction specification by LSA Code
An infant or child lifejacket shall perform the same as an adult
lifejacket except as follows:
- 1) donning assistance is permitted for small children and infants;
- 2) the appropriate child or infant gTD shall be used in place of the adult RTD; and
- 3) assistance may be give, to board a survival craft, but wearer mobility shall not be resized to any greater extent than by the appropriate size RTD .
184.108.40.206 With the exception of freeboard and self-righting performance, the requirements for infant life jackets may be relaxed, if necessary, in order to:
- facilitate the rescue of the infant by a caretaker;
- allow the infant to be fastened to a caretaker and contribute
- keeping the infant close to the caretaker;
- keep the infant dry, with free respiratory passages;
- protect the infant against bumps and jolts during evacuation;
- allow a caretaker to monitor and control heat loss by the infant.
Marking requirements for child life jacket
220.127.116.11 In addition to the markings required by paragraph 18.104.22.168, an infant or child life jacket shall be marked with:
- The size range in accordance with paragraph 22.214.171.124; and
- an “infant” or “child” symbol as shown in the “infant’s, lifejacket” or “child’s lifejacket” symbol adopted by the Organization.
- 126.96.36.199 A lifejacket shall have buoyancy which is not reduced by more than 5% after 24 h submersion in freshwater.
- 188.8.131.52 The buoyancy of a lifejacket shall not depend on the use of loose granulated materials.
- 184.108.40.206 Each lifejacket shall be provided with means of securing a lifejacket light as specified in paragraph 2.2.3 such that it shall be capable of complying with paragraphs 220.127.116.11.6 and 18.104.22.168.3.
- 22.214.171.124 Each lifejacket shall be fitted with a whistle firmly secured by a lanyard.
- 126.96.36.199 Lifejacket lights and whistles shall be letted and secured to the lifejacket in such a way that their performance ill combination is not degraded.
- 188.8.131.52 A life jacket shall be provided with~ ~ release(lble buoyant line or other means to secure it to a life jacket worn by another person in the water.
- 184.108.40.206 A lifejacket shall be provided with a suitable means to allow a rescuer to lift the wearer from the water into a survival craft or rescue boat.
Lifejacket lights Requirements for Solas
220.127.116.11 Each lifejacket light shall:
- have a luminous intensity of not less than 0.75 cd in all directions of the upper hemisphere;
- have a source of energy capable of providing a luminous intensity of 0.75 cd for a period of at least 8 h;
- 3 be visible over as great a segment of the upper hemisphere as is practicable when attached to a lifejacket; and
- be of white colour.
18.104.22.168 If the light referred to in paragraph 22.214.171.124 is a flashing light, it shall, in addition:
- be provided with a manually operated switch; and
- flash at a rate of not less than 50 flashes and not more than 70 flashes per minute with an .effective luminous intensity of at least 0.75 cd.