The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an international maritime treaty which sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment, and operation of merchant ships. It’s a marine guide for all seafarer with all minimum requirements, procedures, and operations which are followed by all over the world. SOLAS sets a standard onboard in all aspects which all ship should comply with.
Of all the international conventions dealing with maritime safety, the most important is the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, better known as SOLAS. SOLAS covers a wide range of measures designed to improve the safety of shipping.
The convention was first adopted in 1914 following the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of more than 1500 lives. Since then there have been four more versions of SOLAS. The present version was adopted in 1974 and entered into force in 1980.
Following are the contents of SOLAS:-
There are in total 2 parts Part 1 and Part 2.
- Part 1
- Articles of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974.
- A protocol of 1988 relating to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974.
- Consolidated text of the annexe to the 1974 SOLAS convention and the 1988 Protocol relating thereto.
- Chapter 1 General provisions.
- Chapter 2.1 Construction- Structure, subdivision, and stability, machinery and electrical installations.
- Chapter 2.2 Construction- Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction.
- Chapter 3 Life-saving appliances and arrangements.
- Chapter 4 Radiocommunications.
- Chapter 5 Safety of navigation.
- Chapter 6 Carriage of cargoes and oil fuels.
- Chapter 7 Carriage of dangerous goods.
- Chapter 8 Nuclear ships.
- Chapter 9 Management for the safe operation of ships.
- Chapter 10 Safety measures for high-speed craft.
- Chapter 11.1 Special measures to enhance maritime safety.
- Chapter 11.2 Special measures to enhance maritime security.
- Chapter 12 Additional safety measures for bulk carriers.
- Appendix Certificates.
- Part 2
- Annexe 1 Certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships.
- Annexe 2 List of resolutions adopted by the SOLAS conferences.
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