On the 21st of May the Merchant Shipping Directorate issued a technical notice to all ship owners, ship operators, managers, masters, owners’ representatives and all recognised organisations in relation to the standard drills that are to take place on-board Maltese flagged Vessels, namely cargo and passenger vessels.

These drills are aimed to prepare all those on-board Maltese flagged vessels for any emergency evacuation that may take place in the event of a fire or call to abandon ship.

The technical notice reiterated the general obligations as prescribed by Chapter III of SOLAS 74 (Regulation 19.3 + Regulation 30.2) which state that all cargo vessels are to coordinate such drills at fortnightly intervals whilst all passenger vessels shall coordinate such drills at weekly intervals.

Before conducting any drills, it is imperative that the lifeboat and its equipment should be thoroughly checked to ensure that it has been maintained in accordance with the ship’s maintenance manuals and with any associated technical documents as prescribed by this shipping notice.