17 January 2020
Applicability: shipowners, ship operators, ship managers, ship masters, shipbuilders, agents, tankers, bulk carriers and container ships.
The manufacturers of GEPA freefall lifeboats have issued advice about the need to modify the release mechanism activation systems installed on the following types: G-FFF1, G-FFF2 and G-FFF3 (including FP variants).
A service bulletin issued by the manufacturers advises that, because the emergency activation system is connected to the hydraulic control line from the primary activation system, such systems for the release mechanism are not considered to be independent as required by the LSA Code paragraph 220.127.116.11.
Modifications are therefore required and must be carried out by an approved service supplier in accordance with the manufacturer’s modification procedure.
The lifeboats are also subject to modified MED certification issued by Bureau Veritas. On completion, a modification statement is to be provided on board, with copies sent to GEPA, the vessel’s flag Administration and to the Class.
What should owners and operators do now?
Owners and operators with GEPA G-FFF1, G-FFF2 and G-FFF3 (including FP variant) freefall lifeboats are advised to contact GEPA and Lloyd’s Register to arrange for modifications to be done under survey, by an approved service supplier, in accordance with flag and Class requirements as applicable.