A member has reported an incident in which defects were discovered on several lifebuoys aboard a company-owned vessel. During ‘routine’ life-saving appliance checks, it was noted the plug/stopper on one of the lifebuoys was missing. The position where the plug/stopper should have been is shown in the photographs below. These should have been put in place by the manufacturer. In this instance, the lack of the plug had resulted in one lifebuoy being full of water with a resultant loss of buoyancy. A further four lifebuoys were found to have the plugs missing.
The lifebuoy type was EVAL, E.G. Vallianatos S.P.A Greece, Code 559.
Members are recommended to conduct a visual check and, where necessary, a weight check on all lifebuoys onboard for this potential issue. It is recommended to amend onboard planned maintenance schedules such that that they include quality control checks and inspection of lifebuoys.
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