Lifeboat Release and Retrieval System (LRRS)

The entry into force of the 1996 amendments to SOLAS means that operators are required to perform routine overload tests of all davits and winches at least every five years. After extensive research and advancements made in computer modelling techniques, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) now accepts hydraulic testing as a safer, more reliable method for lifeboat testing. This method has become a widely adopted and approved test method.



  • The LRRS hydraulic test kit comprises of interconnecting pipes, a calibrated hydraulic pump, hydraulic rams and appropriate instrumentation.
  • Using approved test kits, engineering teams can meet vessels in any port worldwide to carry out lifeboat examinations and tests in full compliance with SOLAS without the need to launch the lifeboats, tenders, fast rescue craft (FRC) and rescue boats.
  • The hydraulic test method is particularly useful when the vessel is in dry dock or if the weather conditions or other external factors make launching the life boat unsafe.


Survitec LRRS Testing

Traditional Testing Methods

Traditional testing methods require a lifeboat to be lowered into the water, tested in dry-dock or at the quayside where they are loaded with cast iron weights, water-bags or sand-bags, and the release gear to be manually operated. This traditional type of testing carries a significant amount of risk to both personnel and equipment, especially for those who may be working at height during the inspecting and testing process. A damaged lifeboat from uncontrolled lowering is both expensive to repair and can create unacceptable working environments for those working around the vicinity. The lifeboat during load testing can weigh up to 20 tonnes, and this of course carries a significant amount of risk. In addition, should the lifeboat be damaged during the testing period, it will prevent a vessel from keeping to its sailing schedule and could mean it fails to comply with the statutory Life Saving Appliance (LSA) requirements. Missing the sailing schedule could lead to port congestion and great expense.


Hydraulic Testing at Survitec

Survitec has long championed the hydraulic testing method. We recognise the importance of implementing a test that is both compliant, and improves the overall safety of personnel and equipment when carrying out routine lifeboat tests. The removal of the lifeboat ensures that no personnel has to be on board the boat during the overload test. The calibrated LRRS hydraulic test kit is set up so that hydraulic rams are fitted to the release hooks; the pressure is gradually increased until the weight is equivalent to 1.1 times the maximum load on the hooks. This can all be performed on a quayside or yard location, or with the lifeboat suspended on the maintenance pendants in the davits, if operational requirements dictate. The entire process is documented in accordance with our strict ISO 9001:2000 management system.

Survitec LRRS Testing

Survitec LRRS Testing animated


A detailed map showing the location of our service engineers can be viewed below.

 Survitec Lifeboat Inspection Map

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