All Vessels - Survival Craft

Survival Craft

46 CFR 28.120

Type Required: See the following tables for specifics.

Acceptability:

  • The required survival craft is on board
  • The craft is good and serviceable, including having been serviced per the table on page 18 of this Job Aid.
  • The craft is stowed properly. (See page 14)
  • If an inflatable life raft, has the appropriate pack. (See page 15)
  • The total number of survival craft must be able to accommodate all individuals on board.
  • An auxiliary craft carried on the vessel which is necessary and integral for normal fishing operations may be substituted for survival craft, except an inflatable liferaft, provided it is readily accessible and is capable of carrying all individuals on board.
  • An approved lifeboat may be substituted for a survival craft required by section 28.120.
Survival craft installed prior to 15 Sep 91 may continue to be used provided:
Of the same type required in tables 28.120 (a)-(c), as appropriate for the vessel type. (See the following pages.)
Maintained in good and serviceable condition.
Equipped with the proper equipment pack required in tables 28.120 (a)-(c), as appropriate for the vessel type.

Table 46 CFR 28.120(a)

Survival Craft for Documented Vessels

Note 1

Area Vessel Type Survival Craft Required
Beyond 50 miles of the coastline All Inflatable liferaft with SOLAS A pack.
Between 20 - 50 miles of coastline, cold waters All Inflatable liferaft with SOLAS B pack.
Beyond the Boundary Line, 12 - 20 miles of coastline, cold waters All Inflatable liferaft
Beyond the Boundary Line, within 12 miles of coastline; Inside Boundary Line, cold waters 36 feet or more in length Inflatable buoyant apparatus.
(See Note 2)
Beyond the Boundary Line, within 12 miles of coastline; Inside Boundary Line, cold waters Less than 36 feet in length Buoyant apparatus. (See Note 2)

Table 28.120(b)

Survival Craft for Undocumented (State Registered) Vessels with 16 or less persons on board.

Also see Note 1

Area Vessel Type Survival Craft Required
Beyond 20 miles of the coastline All Inflatable buoyant apparatus
Beyond the Boundary Line, 12 - 20 miles of coastline, cold waters All Inflatable buoyant apparatus
Beyond the Boundary Line, within 12 miles of coastline; Inside Boundary Line, cold waters 36 feet or more in length Buoyant apparatus.
Beyond the Boundary Line, within 12 miles of coastline; Inside Boundary Line, cold waters Less than 36 feet in length Buoyant apparatus. (See Note 2 )

Note 1: The hierarchy of survival craft in descending order is:

  1. Lifeboat
  2. Inflatable liferaft with SOLAS A or Oceans pack
  3. Inflatable liferaft with SOLAS B or Limited pack
  4. Inflatable liferaft with coastal service pack
  5. Inflatable buoyant apparatus
  6. Life float
  7. Buoyant apparatus

A survival craft higher in the hierarchy may be substituted for any survival craft required in the tables.

Note 2 from table 46 CFR 28.120(a) & (b):

Note 2: If a vessel carries 3 or fewer individuals within 12 miles of the coastline, see 28.120 (b) and (c).

28.120(b): The requirements of this section do not apply to vessels less than 36 feet in length with 3 or fewer individuals on board which operate within 12 miles of the coastline.

28.120(c): A buoyant apparatus may be substituted instead of the requirements in this section for vessels 36 feet or more in length with 3 or fewer individuals on board which operate within 12 miles of the coastline.

Stowage of Survival Craft

46 CFR 28.125

Requirement:

  1. Each inflatable liferaft required to be equipped with a SOLAS A or a SOLAS B, (Oceans or Limited), equipment pack must be stowed so as to float free and automatically inflate in the event the vessel sinks..
  2. Each inflatable liferaft with a coastal service pack, inflatable buoyant apparatus, and any auxiliary craft used in their place, must be kept readily accessible for launching or be stowed so as to float free in the event the vessel sinks.

Acceptability Requirements:

  1. Each hydrostatic release unit used in a float free arrangement must be approved under 46 CFR 160.062.
  2. Each float free link used with a buoyant apparatus or with a life float must be certified to meet 46 CFR 160.073.

Note: A hydrostatic release unit is not required for a proper float free installation. See NVIC 4-86.

Survival Craft Equipment

46 CFR 28.130

Requirements:

  1. Each item of survival equipment must be of good quality and secured to the survival craft.
  2. Inflatable liferaft must have one of the following equipment packs:
    1. Coastal Service
    2. SOLAS B or Limited Service
    3. SOLAS A or Ocean Service
  3. The liferaft container must be marked with the type of equipment pack inside.
  4. Life floats or buoyant apparatus must be fitted with:
    1. Lifeline, pendants and painter
    2. Floating electric light approved under 46 CFR

161.010

Note: Excess survival craft must meet COMDT (G-MCO) Policy Letter No. 01-96 dated 7 Feb 96.

Lifesaving Equipment Markings

46 CFR 28.135

Requirements:
  1. Block CAPITAL letters must be used to mark all lifesaving equipment.
  2. Immersion suits and PFD’s must be marked with one of the following:
    1. Name of the vessel
    2. Name of owner of the immersion suit or PFD
    3. Name of person assigned to wear the immersion suit or PFD
  3. Retroreflective markings will be applied as appropriate.

Table 46 CFR 28.135

Lifesaving Equipment Markings

Item Markings Required Retroreflective Material
Wearable personal flotation device (Type I, II, III, or wearable Type V; Immersion Suit, or exposure suit. Yes, vessel name or name of owner or person to whom assigned. Type I or Type II
(31 sq. inches on front and on back)
Ring Life Buoy Yes Type II on both sides of the device.
Inflatable liferaft See note See note
Inflatable buoyant apparatus See note See note
Life float Yes Type II
Buoyant apparatus Yes Type II
Auxiliary craft Yes Type II
EPIRB Yes Type II

Note: No marking other than that provided by the manufacturer and the servicing facility is required.