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Statutory Documents - IMO Publications and Documents - Resolutions - Maritime Safety Committee - Resolution MSC.153(78) - Adoption of Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as Amended - (adopted on 20 May 2004) - The Maritime Safety Committee,

The Maritime Safety Committee,

 RECALLING Article 28(b) of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization concerning the functions of the Committee,

 RECALLING FURTHER article VIII(b) of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention") concerning the amendment procedure applicable to the Annex to the Convention, other than the provisions of chapter I thereof,

 NOTING resolution A.920(22) entitled “Review of safety measures and procedures for the treatment of persons rescued at sea”,

 RECALLING ALSO the provisions of the Convention relating to the obligation of:

  • shipmasters to proceed with all speed to the assistance of persons in distress at sea; and
  • Contracting Governments to ensure arrangements for coast watching and for the rescue of persons in distress at sea round their coasts,

 NOTING ALSO article 98 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, regarding the duty to render assistance,

 NOTING FURTHER the initiative taken by the Secretary-General to involve competent United Nations specialized agencies and programmes in the consideration of the issues addressed in this resolution, for the purpose of agreeing on a common approach which will resolve them in an efficient and consistent manner,

 REALIZING the need for clarification of existing procedures to guarantee that persons rescued at sea will be provided a place of safety regardless of their nationality, status or the circumstances in which they are found,

 REALIZING FURTHER that the intent of the new paragraph 1-1 of SOLAS regulation V/33, as adopted by this resolution, is to ensure that in every case a place of safety is provided within a reasonable time. It is further intended that the responsibility to provide a place of safety, or to ensure that a place of safety is provided, falls on the Contracting Government responsible for the search and rescue region in which the survivors were recovered,

 HAVING CONSIDERED, at its seventy-eighth session, amendments to the Convention, proposed and circulated in accordance with article VIII(b)(i) thereof,

  1. ADOPTS, in accordance with article VIII(b)(iv) of the Convention, amendments to the Convention, the text of which is set out in the Annex to the present resolution;

  2. DETERMINES, in accordance with article VIII(b)(vi)(2)(bb) of the Convention, that the said amendments shall be deemed to have been accepted on 1 January 2006, unless, prior to that date, more than one third of the Contracting Governments to the Convention or Contracting Governments the combined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 50% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet, have notified their objections to the amendments;

  3. INVITES SOLAS Contracting Governments to note that, in accordance with article VIII(b)(vii)(2) of the Convention, the amendments shall enter into force on 1 July 2006 upon their acceptance in accordance with paragraph 2 above;

  4. REQUESTS the Secretary-General, in conformity with article VIII(b)(v) of the Convention, to transmit certified copies of the present resolution and the text of the amendments contained in the Annex to all Contracting Governments to the Convention;

  5. FURTHER REQUESTS the Secretary-General to transmit copies of this resolution and its Annex to Members of the Organization, which are not Contracting Governments to the Convention;

  6. ALSO REQUESTS the Secretary General to take appropriate action in further pursuing his inter-agency initiative, informing the Maritime Safety Committee of developments, in particular with respect to procedures to assist in the provision of places of safety for persons in distress at sea, for action as the Committee may deem appropriate.


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