MCA - Maritime and Coastguard Agency

07/18/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/18/2023 05:15

Stowage of stretcher’s on rescue and fast rescue boats: UK21/L018


According to the Life Saving Appliances (LSA) Code, rescue boats may be either of rigid or inflated construction or a combination of both and shall: be capable of carrying at least five seated persons and a person lying on a stretcher all wearing immersion suits and lifejackets if required.…No part of a seating space shall be on the gunwale, transom, or on inflated buoyancy at the sides of the boat…", which indicates that the space for the stretcher with a lying person should be considered in the same way as for the seating persons, even it is not mentioned explicitly.

What is an appropriate location and stowage of the stretcher on rescue and fast rescue boats?


For rescue boats and fast rescue boats:

The storage of a stretcher abeam of the inflated buoyancy of rescue boats should be avoided by manufacturers. Consequently, rescue boats with this design concept cannot be approved by Approved Bodies.


An injured person which needs transportation by means of a stretcher should not be carried in a way which provides an unprotected space on top of inflated buoyancy. The stretcher should not overlap any part of the outer hull construction (danger for launching and hoisting) and should be carried in longitudinal direction inside of the rescue boat. An exposed storage of the stretcher on a rescue boat is not to be considered as a safe and protected transport of a lying person. The restricted operations of the boat, medical support aspects and measures of care for the person lying on the stretcher are to be considered for practical issues in addition when considering this request of recommendation.


Items affected

  • UK/1.18, Rigid rescue boats

  • UK/1.19, Inflated rescue boats

  • UK/1.20a, UK/1.20b and UK/1.20c, Fast rescue boats (inflated, rigid, rigid-inflated)

  • UK/1.43, Rigid-inflated rescue boats

More information

Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Bay 2/21
Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
SO15 1EG

Telephone: +44 (0) 203 817 2000

Email: [email protected]