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Liferafts, Life Floats & Buoyant Apparatus

PAGE INDEX: (Click on hyperlinks to go directly to information)



APPROVAL GUIDANCE

APPROVAL
 CATEGORY
EQUIPMENT MRA
APPROVAL
160.010 BUOYANT APPARATUS FOR MERCHANT VESSELS NO
160.018 LIFERAFT FOR MERCHANT VESSELS NO
160.027 LIFE FLOATS NO
160.051 INFLATABLE LIFERAFT FOR DOMESTIC SERVICE NO
160.062 HYDRAULIC RELEASE FOR LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT NO
160.063 LIFERAFT LAUNCHING APPLIANCE (OBSOLETE) NO
160.070 LIFERAFT AUTOMATIC DISENGAGING DEVICE NO
160.118 RIGID LIFERAFT (SOLAS) YES
160.151 INFLATABLE LIFERAFTS (SOLAS) NO
160.162 HYDRAULIC (HYDROSTATIC) RELEASE UNIT (SOLAS) YES
160.163 LIFERAFT LAUNCHING APPLIANCE (SOLAS) NO
160.170 LIFERAFT AUTOMATIC DISENGAGING DEVICE (SOLAS) NO
161.101 POSITION INDICATING LIGHTS (SOLAS)  
NO
NONE
RADAR REFLECTOR
NO

BUOYANT APPARATUS FOR MERCHANT VESSELS


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.010

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of 46 CFR 159.005, 46 CFR 160.010-9 and 46 CFR 160.010-10.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:
 
Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509

Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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(RIGID) LIFERAFT FOR MERCHANT VESSELS


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.018
 
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of the LSA Code and USCG Checklist for RIGID LIFERAFTS located in the below link.  The checklist is actually for SOLAS Liferafts however, non-SOLAS (Domestic) Liferafts must meet the same general requirements except they may have a capacity of less than 6 persons.

LINK:  USCG Checklist for RIGID LIFERAFTS
 
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  See SOLAS Liferaft Approval Section.  160.118

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LIFE FLOATS


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.027 

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of 46 CFR 160.027.  Because Life floats are a variant of buoyant apparatus, a manufacturer must also follow the requirements of 46 CFR 160.010-9 and 46 CFR 160.010-10.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  See Buoyant Apparatus Approval Section. 160.010.

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INFLATABLE LIFERAFT FOR DOMESTIC SERVICE


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160. 051
 
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of 46 CFR 160.051.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:
Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:

Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509

Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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HYDRAULIC RELEASE FOR LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.062
 
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of 46 CFR 160.062.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:
 
Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509
 
Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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LIFERAFT LAUNCHING APPLIANCE (OBSOLETE)


APPROVAL CATEGORY
:  160.063

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  This item is no longer approved.  See 160.163.

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LIFERAFT AUTOMATIC DISENGAGING DEVICE


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.070

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION See 160.170.

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RIGID LIFERAFT (SOLAS)


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.118
 
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of the LSA Code and USCG Checklist for RIGID LIFERAFTS located in the below link.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed on by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.
 
US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA):  This product can be approved under the US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on marine equipment.  For information on the MRA please see the below link.
 
LINKS

US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)

USCG Checklist for RIGID LIFERAFTS

 
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Submittal should be in accordance with 46 CFR 159.005.  The preapproval review is required.  An independent laboratory must be used for approval testing and production oversight.  You must submit the information required by 159.005-5 in the Preapproval Review Package.  However, a sample is not required.

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:
 
Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509
 
Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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INFLATABLE LIFERAFTS (SOLAS)


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.151

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the requirements of 46 CFR 160.151.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:

Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509

Once the equipment has approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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HYDRAULIC (HYDROSTATIC) RELEASE UNIT (SOLAS)


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.162
 
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  See INTERIM GUIDELINES FOR APPROVAL AND PRODUCTION TESTING OF SOLAS HYDROSTATIC RELEASE UNITS. The Coast Guard will review SOLAS Hydraulic Release Units that meet ISO 15734 as an equivalent standard.  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.

US/EC MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT (MRA):  This product can be approved under the US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on marine equipment.  For information on the MRA please see the below link. 

LINKS: 

US/EC Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)  http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/mse4/mra.htm


MSC/Circ.911, Identification of Float-Free Arrangements for Liferafts
 
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:


Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:
 
Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509
 
Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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LIFERAFT LAUNCHING APPLIANCE (SOLAS)


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.163
 
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the IMO requirements in the IMO LSA Code and the associated recommendations on testing (Resolution MSC.81(70)).
 
LINKS

MSC CIRCULAR 980 Sections: Launching Appliances
- Provides information on conducting the testing and evaluation of launching appliances.
 
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:

Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509
 
Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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LIFERAFT AUTOMATIC DISENGAGING DEVICE (SOLAS)


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  160.170

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Follow the IMO requirements in the IMO LSA Code and the associated recommendations on testing (Resolution MSC.81(70)).  The Coast Guard does not test materials or systems for approval but rather specifies the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval.  Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.
 
LINKS

MSC CIRCULAR 980 Sections: Launching Appliances
- Provides information on conducting the testing and evaluation of this equipment
 
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:
 
Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509
 
Once the equipment has been approved by this office, it will receive Coast Guard Type Approval and a Certificate of Approval (COA).  The COA will be issued for 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program.

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SERVICING FOR INFLATABLE LIFERAFTS AND INFLATABLE BUOYANT APPARATUS


When is servicing required?
Approved inflatable liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatus are required to be serviced periodically at an approved liferaft servicing facility. The first servicing of a new raft is due 24 months after it is first packed, except for liferafts on commercial ships in international service, which are due at 12 months. After that, servicing is normally due every 12 months. Check the service expiration sticker (show on the right) on the container of a liferaft serviced by an approved facility. The month that servicing is due is punched on the sticker. The year that servicing is due is printed on the sticker and the last digit of that year is displayed as a large number in a colored square in the middle of the sticker.  The color of the square rotates red, blue, orange, green, beginning with red for 2008.
Raft service sticker
  
Use approved servicing facilities.  A list of approved servicing facilities for each liferaft manufacturer can be found at: http://cgmix.uscg.mil/.  Approved facilities have technicians trained by the liferaft manufacturer, the manufacturer's current servicing manual, and a clean, well-stocked facility that has been inspected by the Coast Guard. After the initial inspection, servicing facilities are periodically inspected by the Coast Guard, or an appropriate independent agency. Technicians are required to have refresher training by the manufacturer at least every 3 years.

Why is servicing important? Liferafts are exposed to extremes of temperature, weather, and sea conditions. Temperature fluctuations and accumulated moisture can lead to deterioration and reduced reliability. Each servicing involves unpacking the liferaft, cleaning and drying it thoroughly, and checking the inflation system to make sure it is fully charged and the inflation valve is in good condition. In addition, the survival equipment packed in the raft is checked to make sure it is in good condition, and any dated equipment past its expiration date, is replaced.

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RETRO-REFLECTIVE MATERIAL FOR LIFERAFTS


Retro-reflective materials should be fitted around the canopy of the liferaft. The material should be sufficiently wide and long to give a minimum area of 150 cm2 and should be spaced at suitable intervals (approximately 80 cm from center to center) at a suitable height above the waterline, doorways included, if suitable. On inflatable liferafts, retro-reflective materials should also be fitted to the underside of the floor, cross-shaped in the center. The dimension of the cross should be half the diameter of the liferaft, and a similar cross should be applied to the top of the canopy.

On liferafts which are not equipped with canopies, materials which should be sufficiently wide and long (to give a minimum area of 150 cm2 should be attached to the buoyancy chamber at suitable intervals (approximately 80 cm from center to center) in such a manner that they are visible both from the air and from a ship.
liferaft with retroreflective material

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POSITION INDICATING LIGHT FOR SURVIVAL CRAFT


Coast Guard approved lights are required on liferafts. These lights have to meet the standards of an international treaty, the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as described in the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Lifesaving Appliances Code and Recommendation on Testing of Lifesaving Appliances. They have to have an all-around light output of 4.3 cd for 12 hours over a range of operating temperatures.

As of 1 July 2008 liferafts must meet the requirements for interior lights and inflation systems required in IMO Resolution MSC.218(82).
liferaft with light
 
LINKSUSCG Guidelines for Approval of Position-Indicating Light for Survival Craft.

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RADAR REFLECTORS


APPROVAL CATEGORY:  NONE

APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  Radar reflector guideline letter.

SUBMITTAL PACKAGE:  Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:

Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to the following address:

Commandant (CG-ENG-4)
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509
2703 Martin Luther King Ave Jr SE
Washington, DC 20593-7509

Once the equipment has been accepted by this office, the manufacturer will be listed in the attached document.

 
LINKSRadar reflector acceptance list.

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Last Modified 9/6/2013