SAFETY OF LIFE AT SEA ( SOLAS ) CONVENTION
Remember the dramatic love story by James Cameron ” TITANIC”. The actual Titanic sinking tragedy took place in 1912 in which over 1,500 people out of total 2,224 were dead. Although it was a disasterous incident however became a turning point in maritime history.
The incident creates a sense toward safety matters at sea specially for securing life of persons at sea. The result is series of rules that IMO prepares and publishes on the safety measures out of which SOLAS convention ( 1914 ) is among the important ones.
Version 1914 never entered into force due to first world war. The next editions published in 1929, 1948,1960,1974.
SOLAS is generated with the aim of definining minimum standards on safety matters that must be taken by vessels to prevent from mighty incidents at sea.
It mainly deals with the minimum standards a vessel must follow in her construction, equipment and operation.
At cargo side hazardous cargoes is an important part out of which IMDG rules have published in accordance with SOLAS convention.
At construction, equipment and operation side conditions of holds, engine, life boats, communications and navigation sets and the certificates crews and vessel must get from signatory flag state, insurance institute and registered port authorithy approving that crews have qualified persons and vessel is seaworthy one are the major items in the convention.
To make sure that safety rules are followed by ocean going carriers convention makes signatory flag states and all port authorities responsible to inspect vessels regularly and assure that their conditions are complying with standards. Any failure from SOLAS rules for the vessel that is inspected at any port all over the world will result in vessel detention at the port hence vessel will not able to depart till the time deficiencies are rectified and appropriate condition approves by the port state inspector.