Summary of passenger safety orientation, emergency alarms and means to communicate emergency instructions in the Code of Federal Regulations

Subchapter H – vessels of 100 GT or more, carrying more than 12 passengers.

Subchapter K – vessels of less than 100 GT, carrying more than 150 passengers, or has overnight accommodations for more than 49 passengers.

Subchapter T – vessels of less than 100 GT, carrying 150 or less passengers, or has overnight accommodations for 49 or less passengers.

Passenger Safety Orientation

Subchapter H Required via Subchapter W: 46 CFR 199.10
Subchapter K 46 CFR 122.506
Subchapter T 46 CFR 185.506
Subchapter W 46 CFR 199.180(b)(2)

Refer to cites for complete wording.

In summary: the subchapter K and T cites state:

  • These orientations must be suitable public announcements that discuss location of emergency exits and survival craft embarkation areas among other items.
  • As an alternative to this announcement, a card or pamphlet regarding these passenger safety orientation items can be used along with an abbreviated safety orientation announcement.
  • Additionally, ferries operating on short runs of less than 15 minutes may substitute bulkhead placards or signs for the announcement if the OCMI determines that the announcements are not practical due to the vessel's unique operation.

Subchapter W states:

  • A safety briefing must be made by means of an announcement in one or more languages likely to be understood by the passengers. The announcement must be made on the vessel's public address system or by other equivalent means likely to be heard by the passengers who have not yet heard it during the voyage. Information cards or posters, or video programs displayed on the vessel video displays, may be used to supplement the briefing, but may not be used to replace the announcement.

General Alarm Systems

Subchapter J 46 CFR 113.25
Subchapter H Required via Subchapter J: 46 CFR 113.25-1; and
Subchapter H: 46 CFR 77.05-1
Subchapter K 46 CFR 120.550
Subchapter T 46 CFR 183.550

Refer to cites for complete wording.

In summary, the subchapter J cite state:

  • General emergency alarms must be located in passenger areas, be audible, and be installed in cabins without loudspeaker installation.
  • In a space where the general emergency alarm signal cannot be heard over the background noise, there must be a red-flashing light or rotating beacon, in addition to the general emergency alarm signal.
  • Each general emergency alarm signal must be an electrically-operated bell, klaxon, or other warning device.

The subchapter K and T cites states:

  • Subchapter K and T vessels with overnight accommodations must be equipped with a general alarm system. The public address system may be used to sound the general alarm system.

Means to Communicate Emergency Instructions

Subchapter J 46 CFR 113.50
Subchapter H Required via Subchapter J: 46 CFR 113.50-1
Subchapter K 46 CFR 121.610
Subchapter T 46 CFR 184.610

Refer to cites for complete wording.

In summary, the subchapter J cite state:

  • Each vessel must have an amplifier-type announcing system that will supplement the general emergency alarm.
  • Loudspeakers must be located to provide intelligible and audible one-way communication throughout the vessel.

The subchapter K and T cites states:

  • Each vessel must be equipped with a public address system. Exceptions: on vessels less than 65 feet in length, a battery powered bullhorn may be used. Additionally, on T vessels less than 65 feet in length carrying not more than 49 passengers, a public address system is not required if a public announcement made from operating station without amplification can be heard throughout the accommodation spaces of the vessel.

Summary of passenger safety orientation, emergency alarms and means to communicate emergency instructions in SOLAS

Passenger Safety Orientation

Regulation III/19.2
Refer to cite for complete wording.

In summary, this cite states:

  • A safety briefing must be made by means of an announcement in one or more languages likely to be understood by the passengers. The announcement must be made on the vessel’s public address system or by other equivalent means likely to be heard by the passengers who have not yet heard it during the voyage. Information cards or posters, or video programs displayed on the vessel video displays, may be used to supplement the briefing, but may not be used to replace the announcement.

General Alarm Systems

Regulation III/6.4.2
Chapter VII, Paragraph 7.2.1 of the Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code
Refer to cites for complete wording.

In summary, these cites state:

  • A general emergency alarm system is required to summon passengers to muster stations. The system shall be in compliance of paragraph 7.2.1 of the Life-Saving Appliances Code, which utilizes the ship’s whistle or siren and in addition, an electrically operated bell or klaxon.

Means to Communicate Emergency Instructions

Regulation III/6.5
Chapter VII, Paragraph 7.2.2 of the Life-Saving Appliances Code
Refer to cites for complete wording.

In summary, these cites state:

  • The requirement of public address systems on passenger ships. The public address system shall be clearly audible above the ambient noise in all spaces.

Regulation III/8
Refer to cite for complete wording.

In summary, this cite states:

  • Clear instructions to be followed in the event of an emergency shall be provided for every person on board in the language or languages required by the ship’s flag State and in the English language.
  • Illustrations and instructions in appropriate languages shall be posted in passenger cabins and be conspicuously displayed at muster stations and other passenger spaces.

Information on Passengers

Regulation III/27
Refer to cite for complete wording.

In summary, this cite states:

  • Details of persons who have declared a need for special care or assistance in emergency situations shall be recorded and communicated to the master prior to departure.