Friday, August 24, 2012

Container Ship to Oil Rig - Standards for Life Saving Keep Improving

Vessel with Seven Tonne Complement Survives Sixty Metre Fall
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE - One of the most obvious essentials on any vessel whether luxury liner or container ship, yet taken for granted by most seafarers, are the obligatory life saving aids which one bypasses every day when walking the decks. When the word 'lifeboat' comes up thoughts turn to stowaways peeping from under tarpaulins or the Titanic sinking beneath the waves, but what guarantees are there to ensure maximum chance of survival when such a craft has to be launched from the side of an oil rig in a raging gale? The answer lies in the rigorous testing all such safety equipment must go through before receiving certification and this week Umoe Schat-Harding, which claims to be the world leader in marine safety equipment is able to make a unique boast for one of its products having laid claim to a very unusual world's record.

The lifeboat manufacturer has set a new freefall lifeboat record with its new generation FF1200 boat which was successfully dropped from a height of 60 metres and was conducted as part of the certification test of the boat. You can watch a video of the test HERE. The craft was loaded with seven tonnes to simulate the full capacity of seventy 100kg people and, as part of the test, the engine was started immediately and was left running for four hours whilst different manoeuvring tests were conducted. The FF1200 is the only lifeboat that has completed the full-scale tests required by the new standards for freefall lifeboats on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (DNV-OS-E406 standard). After the freefall test, the FF1200 is now the highest certified freefall lifeboat.

CEO of Umoe Schat-Harding Equipment AS Geir Arne Velgo said that the boat managed fall from the extreme height in an excellent way and the FF1200 entered the water cleanly and made immediate headway. He also said that the lifeboat has been well received in the market as the company has already secured orders for 47 systems and is now receiving more requests for new projects. He reckons that there are exciting times for the group ahead as the Norwegian and global offshore markets develop.

The ability to drop safely from greater heights is required as offshore installations get larger. The FF1200 was designed for that purpose and to meet stringent new standards for performance in heavy seas which will facilitate the evacuation of rigs and installations in the Norwegian North Sea. The FF1200 boat can carry 70 persons secured in special seats with 5 point harnesses. After dropping into the water the boat momentum carries it clear of the rig, after which a high power 280 hp engine speeds the boat clear of the danger area.

Photo: the fully loaded FF1200 about to hit the water – link to the video above.