Ships and marine technology — Personal and group survival kit for use in polar water

This document specifies design, performance and use of items of survival equipment, as part of a personal survival kit (PSK) and a group survival kit (GSK) that are required by the 1974 International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea (1974 SOLAS) as amended, in particular chapter XIV (MSC. 386(94)) and the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code - MSC.385 (94) and MEPC.264(68), as amended).

Navires et technologie maritime — Kits de survie individuels et collectifs pour les eaux polaires

Le présent document spécifie des exigences relatives à la conception, aux performances ainsi qu’à l’utilisation d’éléments d’équipements de survie contenus dans les kits de survie individuels (PSK) et les kits de survie collectifs (GSK) et requis par la Convention internationale de 1974 pour la sauvegarde de la vie humaine en mer (SOLAS) telle que modifiée, notamment dans le chapitre XIV [MSC. 386(94)], et le Recueil de règles obligatoires pour les navires exploités dans les eaux polaires (Code polaire - Résolutions MSC.385(94) et MEPC.264(68), modifiées).

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Ships and marine technology —
Personal and group survival kit for
use in polar water
Reference number
ISO 24452:2023(E)
© ISO 2023

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ISO 24452:2023(E)
© ISO 2023
All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may
be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on
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ISO copyright office
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Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Published in Switzerland
  © ISO 2023 – All rights reserved

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ISO 24452:2023(E)
Contents Page
Foreword .v
Introduction . vi
1 S c op e . 1
2 Nor m at i ve r ef er enc e s . 1
3 Terms, definitions, and abbreviated terms . 2
3.1 T erms and definitions . 2
3.2 A bbreviated terms . 3
4 D esign and performance requirements . 3
4.1 General . 3
4.2 Rationale . 4
4.3 Goal . 5
5 P ersonal survival kits .5
5.1 General . 5
5.2 P rotective clothing: hat, gloves, socks, face and neck protection . 6
5.3 S kin protection cream . 6
5.4 T hermal protective aid . 6
5.5 E ye protection: goggles . 6
5 . 6 W h i s t le . 7
5.7 D rinking mug . 7
5.8 M ulti-tool . 7
5.9 P olar survival guidance . 7
5.10 E mergency food and water . 8
5.11 C arrier bag. 9
5.12 I mmersion suits (extra) . 9
5.13 H eating packs (extra). 9
5.14 T owels (extra) . 10
6 G roup survival kits . .10
6.1 S helter . 10
6.1.1 General . 10
6.1.2 L ifeboats and liferafts. 10
6.1.3 P rotection from environment . 10
6.1.4 T hermal protection . 10
6.1.5 Anchoring . 10
6.1.6 Shelter structure . 11
6.1.7 Shelter set up . 11
6.1.8 Closures . 11
6.1.9 Sizing . 11
6.2 T hermal protective aid or similar . 11
6.3 S leeping bags and blankets . 11
6.4 W ater, ice and ground insulation .12
6 . 5 S hovel s . 12
6.6 S anitation .12
6.6.1 G eneral .12
6.6.2 A t sea only .13
6.6.3 Going ashore or to ice . 13
6.7 S tove and fuel .13
6.8 E mergency food and water . 14
6.9 E lectric torches (flashlights) . . 14
6.10 W aterproof and windproof matches . 15
6.11 W histle . 15
6.12 Signal mirror . 15
6.13  Spare set of personal survival equipment . 15
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
6.14 G roup survival equipment container . 15
6.15 E xtra requirements to be included in the GSK . 17
6.15.1 Wildlife deterrents . 17
6.15.2 SOLAS equipment . 17
6.15.3 General supplies . 18
7 F ormat of instructional materials . .18
8 M aintenance and inspection .18
Annex A (informative) Personal survival kit .19
Annex B (informative) Group survival kit .20
Bibliography .21
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards
bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out
through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical
committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International
organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.
ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of
electrotechnical standardization.
The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are
described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the
different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the
editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of
patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of
any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or
on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see
Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not
constitute an endorsement.
For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and
expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to
the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see
This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology,
Subcommittee SC 1, Maritime safety.
Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A
complete listing of these bodies can be found at
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
This document contains detailed specifications for various items of survival equipment carried in
personal survival kits (PSK) and group survival kits (GSK) in compliance with the International Code
for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Under the Polar Code, the ship owner or operator must conduct a risk assessment to decide or adjust the
number of kits (PSK and/or GSK) required and equipment carried in the kits for a vessel operating in
polar water.
This document provides a minimum requirement for PSK and GSK as per new research available in the
marine industry. It is intended to supplement the IMO requirements for lifesaving appliances used in
polar waters . This document aims to provide information on how to: increase the chances of survival
for all persons in polar waters, reduce the duration of the search phase to minimize exposure time, and
increase the ability of a person to self-rescue.
This document is based on the assumption that thermal equilibrium is maintained only by insulation.
Active heating may be considered as an alternative design, provided it is serviced and maintained, to
ensure its reliability, at the same interval of the survival craft that contains them (see References [5],
[6] and [7]) and provided that it is capable of operating continuously for the maximum expected time
of rescue (as of IMO MSC.1/Circ.1614, section 4.4) . For cases where alternative designs are used, the
thermal resistance formula in 4.3 can be modified since it is based solely on a passive system. While
the section on group survival kit does discuss shelters, this document distinguishes between using a
survival craft as a shelter and the use of other temporary shelters. It is recognized that when a survival
craft is used as a shelter, it is not expected to comply with the requirements found within 6.1.6 to 6.1.9
of this document. In addition, extra consideration is given to ensure it can be properly anchored on
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Ships and marine technology — Personal and group
survival kit for use in polar water
1 S cope
This document specifies design, performance and use of items of survival equipment, as part of a
personal survival kit (PSK) and a group survival kit (GSK) that are required by the 1974 International
Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea (1974 SOLAS) as amended, in particular chapter XIV (MSC.
386(94)) and the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code - MSC.385 (94)
and MEPC.264(68), as amended).
2 Normat ive references
The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content
constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For
undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.
ANSI/NEMA FL 1, Electric torch basic performance document
ASTM D4772Standard Test Method for Surface Water Absorption of Terry Fabrics (Water Flow)
ASTM F659-10, Standard Specification for Ski and Snowboard Goggles
ASTM F3340-18, Standard Test Method for Thermal Resistance of Camping Mattresses Using a Guarded
Hot Plate Apparatus
DIN EN 511, Protective gloves against cold
NSF/ANSI 173, Dietary Supplements
International Life-Saving Appliance Code (LSA Code), adopted by IMO Resolution MSC.48(66), as
IMO MSC 1/Circ. 1614:2019, Interim guidelines on life-saving appliances and arrangements for ships
operating in polar waters
IMO MSC 81 (70), Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances
ISO 12402-8, Personal flotation devices — Part 8: Accessories — Safety requirements and test methods
ISO 15831, Clothing — Physiological effects — Measurement of thermal insulation by means of a thermal
ISO 18813, Ships and marine technology — Survival equipment for survival craft and rescue boats
ISO 20877, Footwear — Test methods for whole shoe — Thermal insulation
ISO 23537-1:2022, Requirements for sleeping bags — Part 1: Thermal and dimensional requirements
ISO 24444:2019, Cosmetics — Sun protection test methods — In vivo determination of the sun protection
factor (SPF)
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
3 Terms, definitions, and abbreviated terms
3.1 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
ISO and IEC maintain terminology databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at https:// www .electropedia .org/
relative measure of the ability of insulation to provide warmth
Note 1 to entry: One clo is defined as the amount of clothing required by a resting (sedentary) person to be
indefinitely comfortable at ambient conditions where temperature is 21 °C (70 °F), relative humidity is less than
50 per cent, and wind velocity is 250 centimetres per second or about 0,9 kilometres per hour (about 20 feet per
minute or just over half a mile per hour). Lowest clo value (0) is that of a nude person, highest practical clo value
(4) is that of clothing ensembles made from the fur of animals (fur pants, coat, hood, gloves, etc.). Winter clothing
(weighing about 3 kg or 6,6 pounds) has an average clo value of 1, and summer clothing (weighing about 1,8 kg or
3,90 pounds) of 0,6.
group survival kit
equipment to assist in the survival of the group
habitable environment
ventilated environment that will protect against hypothermia
maximum expected time of rescue
maximum ETR
time adopted for the design of equipment and system that provide survival support for all persons after
abandonment and for the maximum expected time of rescue
Note 1 to entry: Maximum ETR shall never be less than five (5) days (PC Part 1A, Paragraph 1.2.7).
mean daily low temperature
mean value of the daily low temperature for each day of the year over a minimum 10-year period
Note 1 to entry: A data set acceptable to the Administration may be used if 10 years of data are not available. The
average MDLTs at 13 areas of the Antarctic and Arctic areas are illustrated as examples based on data from NASA
and NOAA, found in document SDC 1/INF.12 (Canada) or the ABS Guide for Vessels Operating in Low Temperature
Environments, Appendix 10.
personal survival kit
equipment for survival of an individual
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
polar service temperature
temperature specified for a ship which is intended to operate in low air temperature
Note 1 to entry: This temperature shall be set at least 10 °C below the lowest MDLT for the intended area and
season of operation in polar waters
3.2 Abbreviated terms
ABS American Bureau of Shipping
AIS-SART automatic identification system-search and rescue transponder
ETR expected time of rescue
IMO International Maritime Organization
ISM Code International Safety Management Code
LSA Code The International Life-Saving Appliance Code
OA operational assessment
Polar Code International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (IMO Polar Code)
PWOM Polar Water Operational Manual
SOLAS International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended
WIG water, ice or ground
EPIRB emergency position indicating radio beacon
VHF Radio very high frequency radio
GMDSS Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
SART search and rescue transponder
4 De sign and performance requirements
4.1 General
The operational assessment (OA) and the Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM) are intended to
address all aspects of operations, including the possible abandonment scenario(s) the vessel may face
following a review of the intended route within polar regions, seasons of operation, and ice conditions.
Following the review and assessment of all of the risks the vessel may encounter, mitigation measures
should be developed to address those safety risks.
This document reflects the possible risks that may be found while sailing in polar waters and
recommends polar kits to enhance personal and group survival, depending on the abandonment
scenario while sailing in cold or ice infested waters or possible abandonment to land or ice. This
document uses industry best practice and expertise in survival in cold climates.
All new equipment carried on vessels sailing in polar waters should be tested and approved to the
intended operational temperature, understanding that currently IMO does not expand on testing
requirements for polar gear.
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
Figure 1 is designed to help vessel owners/operators choose the most appropriate GSK and PSK to
enhance the likelihood of survival for their crew and passengers, depending on the identified hazards
and abandonment scenarios.
Figure 1 — How to choose the survival kit
4.2 Rationale
Survival following a ship abandonment in polar regions is generally accepted to be more challenging
than survival in typical maritime situations. This is due to two main factors – harsher environmental
conditions and remoteness, both of which can result in an extended survival period as survivors await
rescue. With this in mind, this document offers guidance for personal and group survival equipment
which is necessary to help ensure the success of an extended survival period in polar regions.
There are two anticipated stages to survival:
1) initial stage involving setting up for survival where individuals are expected to be active;
2) extended survival stage where it is anticipated that individuals attempt to conserve energy by
sitting/sleeping, interspersed with periods of activity.
Equipment used in PSK and GSK shall be capable of operating reliably in the expected environmental
conditions and for the expected survival period.
The total system thermal resistance values given in 4.3 are in relation to a stationary (sitting) person at
rest who is not sleeping. Sleeping is assumed to be done in the sleeping bags/blankets provided in the
GSK. The total system thermal insulation shall include all aspects of the protective clothing as well as
the provided shelter, but shelter heating or personal heating packs are not to be considered.
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
4.3 Goal
The goal of this document is to provide information on the content of PSK and GSK to increase the
chances of survival for all persons in polar regions and increase the probability of being found. Of
particular importance is the survival microclimate where the amount of heat loss from a stationary
−2 −2
person is compensable (approximately 55 W∙m -65 W∙m ) without excessive shivering. This can
be achieved through either ensuring that the person is wearing an adequate amount of protective
clothing to provide insulation sufficient to achieve this level of compensable heat loss, or by creating
a microclimate (such as the inside of a temporary shelter) where the ambient air temperature is
greater than the external environment, thus reducing the need for wearing extra insulation. The only
heat source to be considered is the occupants of the shelter, as explained in the introduction of this
Practically, the goal of achieving a compensable level of heat loss is accomplished by increasing the
amount of insulation worn by a person while simultaneously creating a microclimate with an air
temperature greater than what is outside the temporary shelter. The warmer the air temperature a
person is in, the less clothing insulation required to ensure their heat loss remains at a compensable
The minimum overall total system thermal resistance (all equipment in PSK plus GSK/LSA without the
2 −1
sleeping bags/blankets) shall not be less than 0,756 m K·W (4,88 clo) where the MDLT ≥ −10 °C or in
accordance with the following Formula (1) for vessels with a PST.
RT=(-0,073 0⋅⋅ + 3,42) ,155 (1)
th PS
2 −1
R is the thermal resistance (m K·W );
T is the polar service temperature ( C).
If thermal resistance values are above 0,779 (equivalent to ~ 5 clo), the lifesaving appliances seating or
the space in the shelter is to be considered and adjusted as necessary.
Table 1 — Minimum overall total system thermal resistance to achieve compensable heat loss
for a given polar service temperature
Polar service temperature Total system thermal resistance clo value
2 −1
°C m K·W clo
−20 0,756 4,89
−30 0,870 5,03
−40 0,982 6,34
−50 1,096 7,07
The complete list of personal and group survival equipment can be found in Annex A and B, following
the considerations in Clauses 5 and 6 of this document.
5 P ersonal survival kits
5.1 General
If Table A.1 specifies “require” for the corresponding equipment described below, the equipment is
required. If “recommend” is indicated, the equipment is recommended guidance. If "-" is stated, this
equipment does not apply to the vessel and its intended operation.
The entire contents of the PSK inside the carrier bag shall weigh less than 30 % of a person’s weight
(82,5 kg in the LSA Code) when fully packed (not including immersion / anti-exposure suit).
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ISO 24452:2023(E)
5.2 Pr otective clothing: hat, gloves, socks, face and neck protection
The protective clothing ensemble, when worn in its entirety, shall cover all parts of the body except
for the eyes. It shall be made from materials which provide the minimal thermal insulation even when
exposed to wind and when it is wet. When worn with the eye protection (goggles), no part of the body
shall be exposed.
In order to prevent frostbite of the extremities, the following equipment s

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