Here in this article, we will go through SOLAS requirement for LSA

  • Lifebuoy
  • Lifejacket
  • Immersion Suit
  • TPA
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Liferaft
  • Lifeboats
  • Rescue boat
  • LTA
  • EEBD
  • General Alarms


  1. Outer diameter not more than 800mm.
  2. Inner diameter not less than 400mm.
  3. Constructed of inherently buoyant material.
  4. Marked with Ships name and port of registry.
  5. Support 14.5 kg of iron in FW for 24 hours.
  6. Min mass 2.5kg.
  7. Resistant to flame up to 2 sec.
  8. Able to sustain a drop of 30m or the height of stowage, whichever is greater.
  9. Fitted with a grab line 9.5mm in diameter and 4 times the outer dia in length.
  10. Readily available on both sides of the ship
  11. 1 in the vicinity of the stern
  12. At least 1 on each side with a buoyant lifeline with a length not less than twice the distance from the stowage position to waterline in the lightest seagoing cond or 30m, whichever is greater.
  13. At least 50% of lifebuoy to be fitted with self-igniting light.
  14. 2 buoy with light to have smokes and be able to be released from bridge.


  • Cannot be extinguished by water.
  • White color.
  • Burn continuously for at least 2 hours.
  • The intensity of 2 cd
  • 50-70 Flashes per minute
  • Able to withstand the drop test


  • Emit smoke of highly visible colour at uniform rate for 15min when floating in calm water.
  • Not ignite, Explode or emit any flame during the smoke period.
  • Continue to emit smoke when fully submerged for at least 10 sec.


Length of vessel in metersMinimum number of lifebuoys
Up to 1008
100 and less than 15010
150 and less than 20012
200 and more14


Length of vessel in metersMinimum number of lifebuoys
Up to 608
60 and less than 12012
120 and less than 18018
180 and less than 24024
240 and Above 30


  1. Provided for every person on board.
  2. In addition child life jacket – 10% of the passenger onboard or one for each child, whichever is greater.
  3. Buoyancy not to be reduced by 5% after 24 hours of immersion in FW.
  4. Fitted with a whistle firmly secured by a cord.
  5. A sufficient number to be kept in the manned station like ECR, BRIDGE.
  6. Should not interfere with entry into any survival craft or in sitting.
  7. All lifejackets should be fitted with a light.
  8. 75% of the adult who is completely unfamiliar with it can don within a period of 1 min without guidance or assistance.
  9. After the demonstration, everyone can don within 1 min
  10. Capable to be worn in 1 way only
  11. Allows the wearer to jump at least 4.5m into the water without injury, damage or dislodging the lifejacket.
  12. Sufficient buoyancy and stability in FW to lift the mouth at least 120mm from the water with the body inclined backward by at least 20 deg from the vertical. The time period to bring the body in this position is max 5 sec.
  13. Allows the person to swim and board a boat.
  14. Child lifejacket should be marked with a child symbol.
  15. Child lifejacket should be marked with the height and weight range for which the jacket is designed.


  • Luminous intensity min 0.75cd
  • Capable to light for 8 hours
  • white color
  • Manual switch
  • Flash rate 50-70 per min


  • Min 2 separate compartments for inflation.
  • Inflate automatically upon immersion.
  • Provision to inflate by a single manual motion.

image credit traconed


  • 1 for every crew.
  • Constructed with waterproof material.
  • Unpacked and donned without assistance within 2 min along with life jacket etc.
  • Resist burning or melting for 2 sec.
  • It covers the entire body except for the face.
  • Arrangements to minimize or reduce the free air in legs.
  • No ingress of water after a jump of at least 4.5m.
  • Shall permit the wearer to climb up and down a vertical ladder of min 5m.
  • Normal duties for abandonment.
  • Can swim and board a boat.
  • Buoyant immersion suit to be fitted with a lifejacket-type light. (if self buoyant – It must have all features of life jacket.)

Thermal requirement

If the suit does not have insulation, then it should be marked accordingly.

  1. When worn with warm clothing, Body temperature does not fall more than 2 deg on an immersion of 1 hour in calm circulating water of 5 deg.
  2. When warm clothing is not required, the body temp not to fall more than 2 deg on an immersion of 6 hours in calm circulating water of 0 to 2 Deg.


  • Made of waterproof material.
  • Max thermal conductivity of 7800w/m2k.
  • Reduces conductive and evaporative heat loss.
  • Covers the whole body along with the life jacket with exception of the face.
  • Unpacked and donned easily without assistance in a survival craft.
  • Can be removed within 2 min.
  • Can function in  -30°C to +20°C.
  • Every survival craft should have 2 thermal protective aid suits or 10% of its total carrying capacity whichever is greater


  • 12 Rocket parachute is present on the bridge.
  • 6 Hand Flare, 4 Rocket parachutes, and 2 Smoke signals are present in the lifeboat and liferaft.


  • Contained in a water-resistant casing.
  • Operational instructions are on casing.
  • Integral means of ignition.
  • When fired vertically, reach an altitude of at least 300m
  • At or near the top of the trajectory, eject a parachute.
  • Bright red light and 30000cd.
  • Burns for a minimum of 40 seconds.
  • The maximum descend rate is 5m/s.


  • Contained in a water-resistant casing.
  • Operational instructions are on casing.
  • Integral means of ignition.
  • Bright red color.
  • Min intensity 15,000cd.
  • Burning period of minimum 1 min.
  • Continue to burn after immersion for 10s under 100mm of water.


  • Contained in a water-resistant casing.
  • Operational instructions are on casing.
  • Integral means of ignition.
  • Emit smoke of highly visible color at a uniform rate for 3 min in calm water.
  • Shall not emit any flame.
  • Continue to emit smoke after immersion for 10s under 100mm of water.

Candidate 2

  • Why do you want to join the merchant navy?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Favorite subject
  • What is TRS
  • What is the cold and warm front?
  • Types of cloud?
  • Rule number 6
  • Rule number 13
  • What to do in case of MOB
  • What is stowage factor
  • Full form of
    • Marpol
    • STCW
    • IMO


Prior to loading:

  • A pre-stow plan should be made carefully after considering all the available information (w.r.t. to the hold dimensions, cargo gear limitations & cargo dimensions), to allow the maximum utilization of the available space; the better the under-deck stowage, the more cargo can safely be carried on deck.
  • The cargo spaces and related equipment should be examined to check for damages & repairs effected in an appropriate manner.
  • The bilge suction screens should be examined to ensure they are clean, effective and properly maintained to prevent the admission of debris into the bilge piping system.
  • The bilge wells should be free of extraneous material such as wood bark and wood splinters.
  • Side sparring, pipe guards, etc., designed to protect internal hull members should be in place.
  • The Master should ensure that the opening and closing of any high ballast dump valves (TST o’board v/vs) are properly logged. The Master should ensure that the dump valves are properly monitored to preclude (prevent) the accidental readmission of water into these tanks. Leaving these tanks open to the sea, could lead to an apparently inexplicable list, a shift of deck cargo, and potential capsize.

During Loading Operations:

  • Each lift of logs should be hoisted aboard the ship in close proximity to the ship to minimize any potential swinging of the lift.
  • The possibility of damage to the ship and the safety of those who work in the cargo spaces should be considered. The logs should not be swinging when lowered into the space. The hatch coaming should be used, as necessary, to eliminate any swinging of the logs by gently resting the load against the inside of the coaming, or on it, prior to loading.
  • The logs should be stowed compactly, thereby eliminating as many voids as is practicable. The heaviest logs should be loaded first into the cargo spaces.
  • Logs should generally be stowed compactly in a fore and aft direction, any remaining void spaces  should be filled with logs stowed athwartships so as to fill in the void across the breadth of the space as completely as the length of the logs permits.
  • Athwartship voids should be filled tier by tier as loading progresses.
  • Extreme pyramiding of logs should be avoided to the greatest extent possible.
  • If the breadth of the space is greater than the breadth of the hatch opening, pyramiding may be avoided by sliding fore and aft loaded logs into the ends of the port and starboard space.
  • This sliding of logs into the ends of the port and starboard side of the space should commence early in the loading process (after reaching a height of approximately 2 m above the inner bottom) and should continue throughout the loading process.
  • A careful watch by ship’s personnel should be maintained throughout the loading to ensure no structural damage occurs. Any damage which affects the seaworthiness of the ship should be repaired.
  • When the logs are stowed to a height of about 1 m below the forward or aft athwartship hatch coaming, the size of the lift of logs should be reduced to facilitate stowing of the remaining area and logs in the hatch coaming area should be stowed as compactly as possible to maximum capacity.

After Loading:-

The ship should be thoroughly examined to ascertain its structural condition. Bilges should be sounded to verify the ship’s watertight integrity.

During the Voyage:

  • The ship’s heeling angle and rolling period should be checked, in a seaway, on a regular basis. Wedges, wastes, hammers and portable pump, if provided, should be stored in an easily accessible place.
  • The Master or a responsible officer should ensure that it is safe to enter an enclosed space by:
    • Ensuring that the space has been thoroughly ventilated by natural or mechanical means, testing the atmosphere of the space at different levels for oxygen deficiency and harmful vapour where suitable instruments are available.
    • Requiring self-contained breathing apparatus to be worn by all persons entering the space where there is any doubt as to the adequacy of ventilation or testing before entry.

IBC CODE – International code for the construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk.


IBC stands for International code for the construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk.


The objective of lBC Code is to provide international standards in ship design, construction and equipment for the safe carriage of dangerous chemicals and noxious liquid substances. It also tells you about cargo transfer, cargo containments, cargo venting arrangements, fire protection & fire prevention and special requirements for certain cargo etc. Implementation of IBC code reduces the risk to ship, crew and environment


Carriage of Chemical in bulk is covered by SOLAS chapter VII – Carriage of dangerous goods and MARPOL Annex II – Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk. Both conventions require chemical tankers build after 1 July 1986 to comply with IBC Code(International code for the construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk)


Vessel build before 1 July 1986 must comply with BCH Code ( Code for the construction and equipment of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk) which is the Predecessor of IBC code.

The Ships constructed after 1986 carrying substances identified in CH 17 of IBC code must follow the requirement for design, Construction, Equipment and Operation of ships.

Ships subjected to code shall be designed to one of the following standards.

TYPE 1 – is a chemical tanker intended to transport chapter 17 products with very severe environmental and safety hazards which require maximum preventive measures to preclude an escape of such cargo.

  • Can carry Cat X, Y, Z
  • Max quantity to load in a tank is 1250 m3.
  • B/5 from ship-side plating.
  • B/15 from Bottom plating.

TYPE 2 – is a chemical tanker intended to transport chapter 17 products with appreciably severe environmental and safety hazards which require significant preventive measures to preclude an escape of such cargo.

  • Can carry Cat Y, Z
  • Max quantity to load in a tank is 3000 m3.
  • 760mm from ship-side plating.
  • B/15 from Bottom plating.

TYPE 3 – is a chemical tanker intended to transport chapter 17 products with sufficiently severe environmental and safety hazards which require a moderate degree of containment to increase survival capability in a damaged condition.

  • No special requirement

Thus, a type 1 ship is a chemical tanker intended for the transportation of products considered to present the greatest overall hazard and type 2 and type 3 for products of progressively lesser hazards. Accordingly, a type 1 ship shall survive the most severe standard of damage and its cargo tanks shall be located at the maximum prescribed distance inboard from the shell plating.


IBC code contains 21 chapters as given below.

Chapter 1- General
Chapter 2- Ship survival capability and location of cargo tanks
Chapter 3- Ship arrangements
Chapter 4- Cargo containment
Chapter 5- Cargo transfer
Chapter 6- Material of construction, protective lining and coatings
Chapter 7- Cargo temperature control
Chapter 8- Cargo tank venting and gas freeing arrangements
Chapter 9- Environmental control
Chapter 10- Electrical installation
Chapter 11- Fire protection and fire extinguishment
Chapter 12- Mechanical ventilation in cargo area
Chapter 13- Instrumentation
Chapter 14- Personal protection
Chapter 15- Special requirements for certain cargo
Chapter 16- Operational requirements
Chapter 17- Summary of minimum requirements ( list of cargo can carry)
Chapter 18- List of product which the code does not carry
Chapter 19- Index of product carried in bulk
Chapter 20- Transport of liquid chemical wastes
Chapter 21- Criteria for assigning carriage requirements for products subjected to IBC code


The total number of columns is 15 (From A to O)

  • A – Product name.
  • B – UN No.
  • C – Pollution Category ( X, Y, Z ).
  • D – Spillage and Pollution Hazard.
  • E – Ship Type 1, 2, 3
  • F – Tank Type (Integrated, Integral, Gravity, Pressure)
  • G – Tank venting method (Open / Controlled )
  • H – Tank Environment (Inert/Pad/Vent/Dry/NO)
  • I – Electrical equipment
  • J – Gauging (Open/ Restricted/ Closed)
  • K – Vapour detection – (Flammable / Toxic)
  • L – Fire Protection
  • M – Material of construction
  • N – Emergency Equipment
  • O – Additional Requirement

What are Category X,Y,Z and OS in Noxious liquid substances in bulk under Annex 2 of Marpol.

Noxious Liquid Substance in bulk can be divided into these four categories :

  • Category X: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a major hazard to either marine resources or human health and, therefore, justify the prohibition of the discharge into the marine environment.
  • Category Y: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a hazard to either marine resources or human health or cause harm to amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea and therefore justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment;
  • Category Z: Noxious Liquid Substances which, if discharged into the sea from tank cleaning or deballasting operations, are deemed to present a minor hazard to either marine resources or human health and therefore justify less stringent restrictions on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment and
  • Other Substances: substances which have been evaluated and found to fall outside Category X, Y or Z because they are considered to present no harm to marine resources, human health, amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea when discharged into the sea from tank cleaning of deballasting operations. The discharge of bilge or ballast water or other residues or mixtures containing these substances are not subject to any requirements of MARPOL Annex II.

What is difference between SOPEP and SMPEP ? Which vessel should carry SOPEP and SMPEP.

You can find more about SOPEP under Annex I, SMPEP on the other hand is under Annex II of MARPOL 73/78. Thus, SOPEP covers the prevention of pollution arising from an oil pollution incident and SMPEP prevents or controls pollution by Noxious Liquid Substances or chemicals.

Do all ships have SOPEP and SMPEP?

Every oil tanker of 150 gross tonnage and above and every ship other than an oil tanker of 400 gross tonnage and above shall carry on board a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan approved by the Administration.”

Every ship of 150 gross tonnage and above certified to carry noxious liquid substances in bulk shall carry on board a shipboard marine pollution emergency plan for noxious liquid substances approved by the Administration.”

Now what if vessel is carrying both oil as well as chemical ?

Vessels certified to carry oil and noxious liquid substances can only have an approved Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP) in accordance with regulation 37 of Annex I and regulation 17 of Annex II.

International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP)

International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP)

When all the equipment has been surveyed, an IOPP certificate is issued to the ship. The certificate is issued for a period of 5 years and subject to annual endorsements. It is supplemented by a record of construction and equipment for ships which lists all the equipment and arrangement as required depending on the type of ship tanker or other ship.

Form A is other than tankers above 400GRT and Form B is Tankers above 150GRT

What does the certificate signify?

That the ship has been surveyed in accordance with regulation 6 of Annex I of the Convention.

That the survey shows that the structure, equipment, systems, fittings, arrangement and material of the ship and the condition thereof are in all respects satisfactory and that the ship complies with the applicable requirements of Annex I of the Convention.

Hazard associated with GRAIN CARGO

Some examples of grain cargo are – wheat, rye, maize, rice, oats, barley, pulses, seeds, etc

Hazards associated with grain cargo are

  • Settling
  • Shifting
  • Grain contamination and rottening
  • Dust Explosion
  • Fire
  • Depletion of oxygen
  • Evolution of toxic vapour

Among the above hazards settling and shifting are among the most important.

Settling and Shifting

A compartment may be full when the cargo is loaded but, due to ship’s vibration and other movements, the grain settles by about 2 % of its volume leaving space at the top of the cargo. This space allows cargo to move from side to side in conjunction with the rolling and pitching of the vessel. 

Grain has a low angle of repose (15 – 18 deg depending on the type of grain) and this results in its shifting very easily. 

As the cargo shifts, the vessel lists to one side. The shifting of grain is the greatest hazard involved in the carriage of grain. 

Thus the heeling moments for the ship are to be kept as small as possible

This is done by securing the grain surface to prevent  shifting

Chart Symbols – All asked in 2nd mates written.

Question asked in March 2022



Cardinal Marks unlit





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Underwater rock of unknown depth






Radio reporting point symbol 2MFG writtens symbol

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CHART DATUM is the plane of reference for soundings and is stated in the
title of each chart. A chart datum is generally derived from some tidal phase, in which case it is also known as a tidal datum. Common chart datums are the lowest astronomical tide (LAT)


Essential for use in passage planning for ocean voyages, Routeing Charts include routes and distances between major ports, ocean currents, ice limits, load lines and wind roses. They also contain expected meteorological and oceanographic conditions for each month of the year.


An imaginary line or a line on a map joining points on the earth’s surface at which the magnetic declination is the same



On a nautical chart, the drying height is the vertical distance of the seabed that is exposed by the tide, above the sea water level at the lowest astronomical tide.

Drying heigh

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An area within a body of water, esp. in the sea, where dredged material is deposited.





Different types of container lashing and materials

fittings are used for the reliable securing of containers Which can be classified in 2 parts.

  1. Fixed fitting
  2. loose fitting
  • Fixed fittings – Stacking cones, foundations, deck foundations, lashing plates, eyes, pots, d-rings. Fixed fittings are integrated into the hull structure or hatch covers.
  • Loose fittings – Twistlocks, Base locks, spanners, lashing rods, and turnbuckles.

In this article, we will read about the following –

  1. Base locks
  2. Mid locks
  3. Twist locks
  4. Lashing rod
  5. Turn Buckle
  6. Stowage bins and lashing equipment stowage design


Base locks, All rights reserved to

It is the foundation of container securing. The bottom-most layer of containers or say the base tier of the container is secured by base locks. Base lock sits in iso socket and once the container is placed on it the handle in front is turned to left side. In the above image the handle is right side which indicates it is in open position. Once the container is loaded we turn the handle to left.


They are only used in the case of 20 feet containers, Mid locks are not required when loading a 40 feet container. As the name suggests it is in the middle of the hatch cover.
The image below shows the mid lock.

Mid lock on a container vessel .

Mid lock on a container vessel .
All you need to know before joining container vessel.
Mid lock on a container vessel .


Each tier of the container is locked with the other tier of the container with twist locks. If not loaded properly or if the container does not sit properly its because of a twist lock. So while loading the crew keeps a close watch and report if any twist lock problem is noted. The image below shows the use of twist lock.

Twist lock on container vessel
What are twist locks


Crew member on container vessel greasing turnbuckle,
Lashing bridge without any containers,
Lashing bridge when containers are loaded,

Lashing rod design

  • The design of containership securing systems and weight should take into account the practical abilities of the workers to lift, reach, hold, control, and connect the components in all situations anticipated in the cargo securing plan.
  • The maximum length of a lashing rod should be sufficient to reach the bottom corner fitting of a container on top of two high cube containers
  • The head of the lashing rod that is inserted in the corner fitting should be designed with a pivot/hinge or other appropriate devices so that the rod does not come out of the corner fitting accidentally.
  • The rod’s length in conjunction with the length and design of the turnbuckle should be such that the need of extensions is eliminated when lashing high cube (9’6″) containers.
  • Lightweight rods should be provided where special tools are needed to lash high cube containers.

Turnbuckle design

  • Turnbuckle end fittings should be designed to harmonize with the design of lashing rods.
  • Turnbuckles should be designed to minimize the work in operating them.
  • Anchor points for turnbuckles should be positioned to provide safe handling and to prevent the bending of rods.
  • To prevent hand injury during tightening or loosening motions, there should be a minimum distance of 70 mm between turnbuckles.
  • The turnbuckle should incorporate a locking mechanism which will ensure that the lashing does not work loose during the voyage.
  • The weight of turnbuckles should be minimized as low as possible consistent with the necessary mechanical strength.

6. Storage bins and lashing equipment stowage design

Storage bins and lashing equipment stowage design,
  • Bins or stowage places for lashing materials should be provided.
  • All lashing gear should be stowed as close to its intended place of use as possible.
  • The stowage of securing devices should be arranged so they can easily be retrieved from their stowage location.
  • Bins for faulty or damaged gear should also be provided and appropriately marked.
  • Bins should be of sufficient strength.
  • Bins and their carriers should be designed to be lifted off the vessel and restowed.