(a) Each inflatable liferaft serviced by a servicing facility approved by the Coast Guard must be inspected and tested in accordance with paragraphs (b) through (r) of this section, and the manufacturer's servicing manual approved in accordance with § 160.151-35(b)(1).
(b) The following procedures must be carried out at each servicing:
(1) The working-pressure leakage test described in IMO Resolution A.689(17), paragraph 2/5.1.5, must be conducted.
(2) Inflation hoses must be pressurized and checked for damage and leakage as part of the working-pressure leakage test, or in a separate test.
(3) An inflatable floor must be inflated until it is firm, and let stand for one hour. The inflatable floor must still be firm at the end of the hour.
(4) The seams connecting the floor to the buoyancy tube must be checked for slippage, rupture, and lifting of edges.
(5) Each item of survival equipment must be examined, and—
(i) Replaced if its expiration date has passed; and
(ii) Otherwise, repaired or replaced if it is damaged or unserviceable.
(6) Each battery must be replaced with a fresh one if—
(i) Its expiration date has passed;
(ii) It has no expiration date; or
(iii) It is to return to service in an item of survival equipment, but its measured voltage is less than its rated voltage.
(7) Each power cell for the top and inside canopy lights must be inspected and tested as prescribed in the servicing manual unless it is a battery serviced in accordance with paragraph (b)(6) of this section. Each cell that is tested and found satisfactory may be reinstalled. Each cell that is outdated, is not tested, or fails the test must be replaced.
(8) If the liferaft is equipped with an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Search and Rescue Transmitter (SART), the EPIRB or SART must be inspected and tested in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. An EPIRB must be tested using the integrated test circuit and output indicator to determine whether it is operative. Each EPIRB or SART not operative must be repaired or replaced.
(9) The manual inflation-pump must be tested for proper operation.
(10) Each damaged, faded, or incorrect instruction label or identification label on the liferaft or its container must be replaced.
(11) Each liferaft must be examined to ensure that it is properly marked with retroreflective material. The arrangement of the retroreflective material must meet the requirements of IMO Resolution A.658(16). Damaged or missing retroreflective material must be replaced with Type I material approved under part 164, subpart 164.018, of this subchapter as complying with SOLAS.
(12) Each inflation cylinder must be weighed. If its weight loss exceeds five percent of the weight of the charge, it must be recharged.
(c) When an inflation cylinder is recharged for any reason, the following inflation-head components must be renewed:
(1) The poppet-pin assembly, if any.
(2) Each plastic or elastomeric seal, and each other part that deteriorates with age.
(d) Each recharged inflation cylinder must stand for at least two weeks and be checked for leakage by weighing before being installed in a liferaft. An alternative mechanical or chemical test for fast detection of leakage may be used if the servicing manual approved by the Commandant in accordance with § 160.151-35(b)(1) provides for it.
(e) Each inflation cylinder that requires a hydrostatic test under 49 CFR 173.34 must be tested and marked in accordance with that section.
(f) At every second servicing of a davit-launched liferaft, the launching-load test in paragraph 2/5.2 of IMO Resolution A.689(17) must be conducted.
(g) At every fifth annual servicing, before the conduct of the tests and inspections required in paragraphs (b) through of this section, each liferaft must be removed from its container and, while still folded, inflated by the operation of its gas-inflation system.
(h) Each liferaft showing minor leaks during the gas inflation test conducted in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section, may be repaired.
(i) Each liferaft ten or more years past its date of manufacture must be condemned if it leaks extensively, or shows fabric damage other than minor porosity, during the gas inflation test conducted in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.
(j) After the gas inflation test conducted in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section, the liferaft may be evacuated and refilled with air for the tests in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section.
(k) At each annual servicing of a liferaft ten or more years past its date of manufacture during which the gas-inflation test in paragraph (g) of this section is not conducted, a “Necessary Additional Pressure” (NAP) test must be conducted. Before the tests and inspections required in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section are conducted, the NAP test must be completed, using the following procedure:
(1) Plug or otherwise disable the pressure-relief valves.
(2) Gradually raise the pressure to the lesser of 2 times the design working pressure, or that specified in the manufacturer's servicing manual as sufficient to impose a tensile load on the tube fabric of 20 percent of its minimum required tensile strength.
(3) After 5 minutes, there should be no seam slippage, cracking, other defects, or pressure drop greater than 5 percent. If cracking in the buoyancy tubes is audible, accompanied by pressure loss, condemn the liferaft. If it is not, reduce the pressure in all buoyancy chambers simultaneously by enabling the pressure-relief valves.
(l) At each annual servicing of a liferaft 10 or more years past its date of manufacture, the integrity of the seams connecting the floor to the buoyancy tube must be checked by the following procedure, or an equivalent procedure specified in the manufacturer's approved servicing manual:
(1) With the buoyancy tube supported a sufficient distance above the floor of the servicing facility to maintain clearance during the test, a person weighing not less than 75 kg (165 lb) shall walk or crawl around the entire perimeter of the floor of the liferaft.
(2) The seams connecting the floor to the buoyancy tube must then be inspected for slippage, rupture, and lifting of edges.
(m) The servicing facility must complete the following for each liferaft that passes these inspections and tests:
(1) Permanently mark the liferaft on its outside canopy, or on a servicing-record panel on an interior portion of one of its buoyancy tubes near an entrance, with—
(i) The date of the servicing;
(ii) The identification and location of the servicing facility; and
(iii) If applicable, an indication that the special fifth-year servicing was performed.
(2) Permanently and legibly mark on the identification device provided in accordance with § 160.151-17(c), or on the outside canopy of the liferaft, the name, if known, of the vessel on which the raft will be installed or the name, if known, of the vessel owner.
(3) Affix an inspection sticker to the liferaft container or valise. The sticker must be of a type that will remain legible for at least 2 years when exposed to a marine environment, and that cannot be removed without being destroyed. The sticker must be about 100 mm×150 mm (4 by 6 inches), with the last digit of the year of expiration superimposed over a background color that corresponds to the colors specified for the validation stickers for recreational-boat numbers in 33 CFR 174.15(c), and be marked with the Coast Guard identifying insignia in accordance with the requirements of 33 CFR 23.12. The sticker must also contain the following:
(i) The name of the manufacturer of the liferaft.
(ii) The year and month of expiration determined in accordance with paragraph (n) of this section.
(iii) Identification of the servicing facility, printed on the sticker or indicated on the sticker by punch using an approval code issued by the Commandant.
(n) The expiration date of the servicing sticker is 12 months after the date the liferaft was repacked, except that:
(1) For a new liferaft, the expiration date may be not more than two years after the date the liferaft was first packed, if—
(i) Dated survival equipment in the liferaft will not expire before the sticker expiration date; and
(ii) The liferaft will not be installed on a vessel certificated under SOLAS.
(2) For a liferaft stored indoors, under controlled temperatures (between 0 °C (32 °F) and 45 °C (113 °F)), for not more than 6 months from the date it was serviced or first packed, the expiration date may be extended up to the length of time the liferaft remained in storage.
(3) For a liferaft stored indoors, under controlled temperatures (between 0 °C (32 °F) and 45 °C (113 °F)), for not more than 12 months from the date it was serviced or first packed, the expiration date may be extended up to the length of time the liferaft remained in storage, if the liferaft is opened, inspected, and repacked in a servicing facility approved in accordance with §§ 160.151-49 and 160.151-51. When the liferaft is opened—
(i) The condition of the liferaft must be visually checked and found to be satisfactory;
(ii) The inflation cylinders must be checked and weighed in accordance with paragraph (b)(12) of this section;
(iii) All survival equipment whose expiration date has passed must be replaced; and
(iv) All undated batteries must be replaced.
(o) The servicing facility must remove and destroy the markings of Coast Guard approval on each liferaft condemned in the course of any servicing test or inspection.
(p) The servicing facility must issue a certificate to the liferaft owner or owner's agent for each liferaft it services. The certificate must include—
(1) The name of the manufacturer of the liferaft;
(2) The serial number of the liferaft;
(3) The date of servicing and repacking;
(4) A record of the fifth-year gas-inflation test required in paragraph (g) of this section, whenever that test is performed;
(5) A record of the hydrostatic test of each inflation cylinder required in paragraph (e) of this section, whenever that test is performed;
(6) A record of any deviation from the procedures of the manufacturer's servicing manual authorized by the OCMI in accordance with § 160.151-53(d) ;
(7) The identification of the servicing facility, including its name, address, and the approval code assigned by the Commandant in accordance with § 160.151-51 ;
(8) The name, if known, of the vessel or vessel owner receiving the liferaft; and
(9) The date the liferaft is returned to the owner or owner's agent.
(q) The servicing facility must keep a record of each liferaft approved by the Coast Guard that it services for at least five years, and must make those records available to the Coast Guard upon request. Those records must include—
(1) The serial number of the liferaft;
(2) The date of servicing and repacking;
(3) The identification of any Coast Guard or third-party inspector present;
(4) The name, if known, of the vessel or vessel owner receiving the liferaft; and
(5) The date the liferaft is returned to the owner or owner's agent.
(r) The servicing facility must prepare and transmit to the OCMI, at least annually, statistics showing the nature and extent of damage to and defects found in liferafts during servicing and repair. The facility must notify the OCMI immediately of any critical defects it finds that may affect other liferafts.
[CGD 85-205, 62 FR 25547, May 9, 1997, as amended by USCG-1998-4442, 63 FR 52192, Sept. 30, 1998; USCG-2010-0759, 75 FR 60004, Sept. 29, 2010]
Title 46 published on 2012-10-01
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