In the majority of offshore emergency scenarios on the UKCS the totally enclosed motor propelled survival craft (TEMPSC) are relied upon as the secondary means for mass evacuation, after helicopters. In many ways the lifeboats of the early part of the 20th century remain recognisable to those of the latter part though more recent changes to launch systems such as ‘on load’ release and the free-fall concept have become more widespread, driven by legislative changes that are usually in response to specific incidents. Though the new systems are commonplace across both maritime and offshore industries a number of accidents have been reported that can be attributed to shortcomings in their design, use or maintenance. Even though TEMPSC are subject to performance standards as laid down by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), these address issues primarily of concern to the carriage and use of lifeboats on ships rather than on installations.
This study investigated the current regulatory regime as applied to TEMPSC and its relevance, bearing in mind the specific circumstances encountered, to craft for use offshore.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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