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  • Viking Self Propelled Super Liferaft...

    Ok, I may have exaggerated a little with the title, but still interesting...

    http://www.viking-life.com/viking.ns...lifecraft.html

    Originally posted by http://www.viking-life.com/viking.nsf/public/passenger-lifecraft.html
    Is it a lifeboat? Is it a liferaft? No. It?s a new super-sized, super-flexible evacuation system from VIKING ? a revolutionary hybrid that brings together the best of lifeboats and liferafts in one.

    What if it were possible to build a lifesaving craft that combined all of the advantages of modern lifeboats - such as self-propelled maneuverability - with the flexibility, comfort and smaller footprint of today?s liferafts?

    And what if such a craft could enable rapid, mass evacuation with maximum safety for passengers and crew?

    The challenge of answering these questions was the spark that, inspired by discussions during sessions of the Safecraft Working Group in 2009, set off an ambitious, four-year long journey to reach an amazing result: The VIKING LifeCraft? System.

    The best of both worlds

    This is a product that completely changes the lifeboat vs. liferaft discussion - at least when it comes to high-capacity evacuation systems.

    The LifeCraft? System consists of two main elements: The LifeCraft? itself ? a self-propelled inflatable vessel with four engines for a high degree of maneuverability and safety; and a storing and launching unit, either placed on deck or built in, containing up to four LifeCraft? units with a capacity of 200 persons each - for a total capacity of 800 persons. There is a gangway for stretchers, if needed.

    Some of the advantages

    Today's larger and wider vessels mean that the number of passengers and the variation in trim height and list conditions can be enormous in a distress situation. The LifeCraft? is a hugely flexible evacuation system that can cope with such extremes.

    There are more advantages of this hybrid solution. For example, the new LifeCraft? System is safe on an entirely new level, too. A specially designed chute system helps evacuees with special needs, such as children, the elderly and those on stretchers, setting a new standard for full-spectrum marine evacuation.

    And it?s not just the life-saving capabilities of the new LifeCraft? System that are hitting the headlines in shipowner circles. The system also takes up less room than lifeboats, freeing up deck space for shipowners keen to provide their passengers with more cabins, shopping opportunities and other journey enhancements.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

  • #2
    Too many of these evacuation systems are being designed to pass type approval tests under controlled conditions rather than to actually be safe, reliable and efficient in a real emergency. As cruise ships get bigger and bigger the systems have to be more and more complex to meet IMO's ridiculous 30 minute evacuation time requirement. This seems like another one of these.

    To my mind what needs to happen is that IMO needs to look at improved survivability for large cruise ships to allow them to be safely evacuated in a more realistic time without the ridiculous idea of sending thousands of geriatric passengers down glorified rubbish chutes.
    Go out, do stuff

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Clanky View Post
      Too many of these evacuation systems are being designed to pass type approval tests under controlled conditions rather than to actually be safe, reliable and efficient in a real emergency.
      I fully agree - although I also ask how serious are the regulations when they require ships and survival craft to meet new safety requirements, but allow existing ships to continue with ancient technology / systems until they eventually sink / get broken up. At end of the day, most companies are not going to invest in new systems until the regulations require it.

      As cruise ships get bigger and bigger the systems have to be more and more complex to meet IMO's ridiculous 30 minute evacuation time requirement. This seems like another one of these.
      Just to clarify (for any cadet's reading and going up to their orals) Passenger Vessels only need to be capable of being evacuated within 30 minutes of "abandon ship" order being given - one would therefore reasonably expect (and the legislation states) that this 30 minutes starts from when passengers are already mustered at their muster stations with their life jackets donned. The current regulations permit a total evacuation time of up to 80 minutes from initial alarm sounding on passenger ships with more than 3 vertical fire zones.

      So in effect it's a case of you must be able to fill and lower the survival craft within 30 minutes with all the passengers already mustered - how practical that is to do in reality - I hope I never find out!

      To my mind what needs to happen is that IMO needs to look at improved survivability for large cruise ships to allow them to be safely evacuated in a more realistic time without the ridiculous idea of sending thousands of geriatric passengers down glorified rubbish chutes.
      To an extent they have, safe return to port became mandatory for keels laid after 2010 & the damage stability requirements for passenger ships changed in 2012 (or 2013 I forget) to use a different method - no longer based on being able to survive someone t-boneing you and doing X amount of damage.

      I do however fully agree with you that a lot of these systems are not thought through, as you say, it would be bad enough getting 1000+ crew down the chutes, never mind 4000+ panicking passengers including children and elderly. But then again - how successful will trying to shove them all in a lifeboat be??
      ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

      ? Mark Twain
      myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

      Comment


      • #4
        Has anyone sailed with the Marin Ark system thats been around for a fair while now? I have seen its on quite a few ferries around North Europe. Don't know any stories of it being used in anger, but the way the vertical slides, with the expanding hoops to fit all sizes and speeds is quite ingenius.

        http://www.rfdbeaufortmarine.com/pro.../marin-ark-632

        ....

        Comment


        • #5
          I sailed with it on a ro-pax ferry, we did the annual deployment and even the crew were reluctant to jump into the chute. There was no way that we could have evacuated 850 passengers through the damned thing.

          The MCA were onboard and asked someone to point out how to deploy the system, the guy put his finger on the release "trigger" which you are supposed to have to pull quite hard and the chute deployed at 22 knots in the middle of the Med.
          Go out, do stuff

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dosedmonkey View Post
            Has anyone sailed with the Marin Ark system thats been around for a fair while now? I have seen its on quite a few ferries around North Europe. Don't know any stories of it being used in anger, but the way the vertical slides, with the expanding hoops to fit all sizes and speeds is quite ingenius.

            http://www.rfdbeaufortmarine.com/pro.../marin-ark-632

            Was there not a case a few years ago with a ferry company they took some office staff on to test it and two people got stuck and died.

            Comment


            • #7
              Aye you wouldn't catch me jumping down one of those things unless I had no choice. Certainly wouldn't be volunteering to test it out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by EH75 View Post
                Aye you wouldn't catch me jumping down one of those things unless I had no choice. Certainly wouldn't be volunteering to test it out.
                I don't know how you are expected to convince passengers to jump down it without pushing them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think if the ship is on fire or sinking then that will act as an incentive, and is also the amount of persuasion I would probably need.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                    Too many of these evacuation systems are being designed to pass type approval tests under controlled conditions rather than to actually be safe, reliable and efficient in a real emergency. As cruise ships get bigger and bigger the systems have to be more and more complex to meet IMO's ridiculous 30 minute evacuation time requirement. This seems like another one of these.

                    To my mind what needs to happen is that IMO needs to look at improved survivability for large cruise ships to allow them to be safely evacuated in a more realistic time without the ridiculous idea of sending thousands of geriatric passengers down glorified rubbish chutes.
                    This is absolutely hitting the nail on the head for me. But I also have another problem. People have said they will encourage passengers to use it etc. but we all have all heard of dear old Concordia and crew abandoning ship before the passengers were off. A break from the norm? NO - Oceanos was in the headlines for the same thing.

                    So if things get really hairy would crew stay and help passengers? We would all say yes - "death before dishonour" or "A captain always goes down with his ship" - but in reality as the ships get bigger and many thousands of people are trying to disembark how many peoples nerves would crack when the ship heels and you see a queue of 400 old and infirm people shuffling forwards to pause at the top of the shute and debate with you about how safe it is and how frail they are.

                    Theoretical evacuations, tests in harbours and computer simulations will all come unstuck and count for nothing when the sh1t hits the fan with an extreme situation and many people will die in my opinion.

                    Ian
                    "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
                    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

                    "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The actual descent is very controlled and you can actually stop yourself mid drop and just sort of hang there, but it still takes some cajones to let go at the top.

                      We did the annual deployment with ship's staff and even then there were a few nerves, trying to evacuate the cargo in an emergency would have been a nightmare.
                      Go out, do stuff

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hatchorder View Post
                        This is absolutely hitting the nail on the head for me. But I also have another problem. People have said they will encourage passengers to use it etc. but we all have all heard of dear old Concordia and crew abandoning ship before the passengers were off. A break from the norm? NO - Oceanos was in the headlines for the same thing.

                        So if things get really hairy would crew stay and help passengers? We would all say yes - "death before dishonour" or "A captain always goes down with his ship" - but in reality as the ships get bigger and many thousands of people are trying to disembark how many peoples nerves would crack when the ship heels and you see a queue of 400 old and infirm people shuffling forwards to pause at the top of the shute and debate with you about how safe it is and how frail they are.

                        Theoretical evacuations, tests in harbours and computer simulations will all come unstuck and count for nothing when the sh1t hits the fan with an extreme situation and many people will die in my opinion.

                        Ian
                        Slightly off the main point, but something worth taking into account; Large passenger ships will only have 40 - 80 actual "sailors / officers" - the other 800+ will be a mixture of waiters, cleaners, dancers, etc. From experience, of these 800+ you'll have at least;

                        + 20% who can't speak english (yet somehow has a certificate that says they can)
                        + 40% won't give a **** about safety & despite having all these wonderful STCW certificates, have basically paid $20 and been given the certificates (or at best, been forced to watch a 1 hour video) - yet that's equivalent to the 1 week course we have to do in the UK for the STCW basic courses.

                        Of the remaining lot, you'll get some who were trained properly / actually care and make an effort.

                        Now, to look further at the problem - so we have 80 persons (deck / engine team) who are required to deal with a variety of "Critical tasks"; fire fighting, bridge related tasks, engine related tasks, lowering lifeboats and the various other emergency teams we have - before we even look at the personal required to evacuate passengers - this presents a problem, so ultimately on most passenger ships we have;

                        + Members of our fire teams that consist of galley staff who have basically watched a video.
                        + In charge of our lifeboats we have an AB / OS, however assisting them we have to use staff from the bars (hook release).

                        Now, let's look at MES - it can be deployed by one person - who doesn't really need any specific training - in most cases you pull a leaver and then you shove the passengers down it, assuming it deploys it's pretty much idiot proof.

                        As others have said; the fact the vessel is sinking is a pretty big incentive for jumping down one of these things. If anyone actually thinks a crew member is going to stand at the top and "debate" with a passenger about going down it - really? that passenger will be shoved down it before they can open their mouth.

                        Yes there were accidents during test inflations with a well known UK cruise / ferry company (as well as with other companies), but still, the number of deaths caused during MES drills in past 5 years can be counted on your hands - if only we could say the same about lifeboats.

                        Not to mention - Concordia was lucky - what chance do you have to deploy the lifeboats in bad weather in open ocean? Has anyone actually filled a lifeboat on a passenger ship? We're now required to do it every 6 months... when you have the full number of "thin" crew members in it wearing lifejackets there is absolutely no room to move around - how you're meant to launch these things when fully loaded is beyond me - and that was with young, fit and thin crew!
                        ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                        ? Mark Twain
                        myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          & I know that in the Oceanos case it was the officers that legged it in the middle of the night without telling anyone and left the entertainment staff to deal with it, but generally I hope that wouldn't happen to that extent again!
                          ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                          ? Mark Twain
                          myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The problem with shoving a passenger down a chute is that if they panic they can get stuck, particularly the vertical chute types which mean that that chute is out of action until a trained crew member is lowered down the chute and releases them.

                            Not all cruise companies use waiters and galley hands as life boat lowering crew and fire teams, in fact, one of the ships in the fleet you are talking about manages to have the fire teams and the essential life boat preparation parties made up of entirely deck and technical departments.

                            There is nothing wrong with the basic idea of mass evacuation systems for ships, but the implementation of them, designed to allow very large ships to meet totally unrealistic evacuation times under totally unrealistic conditions means that they will be almost unusable in a real emergency.
                            Go out, do stuff

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We have all fire teams and lifeboat crew sourced from deck/engine departments. All fire team members have AFF and all lifeboat crew have PSCRB. Only anomaly is that some ships have F&B staff on the liferaft prep parties.
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