Of all the international conventions dealing with maritime safety, the most important is the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended, better known as SOLAS , which covers a wide range of measures designed to improve the safety of shipping. The Convention is also one of the oldest of its kind: the first version was adopted in 1914 following the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of more than 1,500 lives. Since then there have been four more versions of SOLAS. The present version was adopted in 1974 and entered into force in 1980. In order to provide an easy reference to all SOLAS requirements applicable from 1 July 2009, this edition presents a consolidated text of the SOLAS Convention, its Protocols of 1978 and 1988 and all amendments in effect from that date. The fully updated 2009 edition features a number of new SOLAS regulations, adopted after the last consolidated edition of the Convention was published. Of these, particular attention is drawn to regulation V/19-1 on long-range identification and tracking of ships (LRIT), regulation II-1/3-8 on mooring and towing equipment and regulation II-1/35-1 on bilge pumping arrangements. The SOLAS provisions for corrosion protection have been updated and expanded and the new requirements are incorporated in chapter II-1. Furthermore, chapter II- 1 was comprehensively revised to include probabilistic requirements for subdivision and damage stability and now also has a new Part F concerning alternative designs and arrangements. The annex to the Convention regarding the SOLAS forms of certificates contains the fully revised safety certificates for nuclear passenger and cargo ships and the list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships, as revised, is also added.
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