Department for Transport

Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code



13.1     Lifebuoys

13.1.1 For the recovery of persons from the water, vessels should carry lifebuoys.

13.1.3 A minimum of two suitable lifebuoys should be carried, at least one with a buoyant line of at least 18m in length.  If operating at night one suitable lifebuoy should have a light.  

13.1.4 On vessels where all passengers and crew wear a lifejacket, no lifebuoys are needed. [NB: See Annex 5 - Beach Craft Guidelines].  

13.2     Lifejackets and buoyant apparatus

13.2.2 Vessels should carry enough lifejackets for all persons on board for use in the event of an emergency.  

13.2.3 Lifejackets can be of a solid buoyancy or inflatable type, and should be approved by MCA (DfT) or under the Marine Equipment Directive (MED) approved “Wheelmarked”, or should comply with BS/EN 396: Life Jackets and personal buoyancy aids of 150N, or BS/EN 399: Life Jackets and personal buoyancy aids of 275N.  Lifejackets that comply with BS 3595: Specification for Life Jackets, and with a current servicing certificate where applicable, may for the time being continue to be used where already fitted on a vessel.  Lifejackets relying entirely on oral inflation are not appropriate for emergency use, unless they are inflated at all times during operation.

13.2.4 Where vessels operate at night, lifejackets should be fitted with lights.

13.4     Instructions

13.4.1 An instruction manual should be carried for onboard maintenance of the life-saving appliances. The manual may be kept ashore by the operator in the case of an open boat. It is to include the following where applicable:

1.  Check list for use when carrying out inspections.

2.  Maintenance and repair instructions (including a list of replaceable parts and sources for spare parts, and a log of records of inspection and maintenance).

3.  Schedule of periodic maintenance.

13.5     Maintenance

All life saving appliances should be serviced at the manufacturer’s recommended service station at recommended intervals.

N.B. Paragraph numbering may not be consecutive, as this page only shows
those paragraphs relevant to the vessels selected.