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Adam Danyal
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Adam Danyal
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These Hybrid Lifeboats-Liferafts Can Evacuate 800 People in 30 Minutes

This is the Viking LifeCraft System, a state-of-the-art hybrid that has the dependability of a lifeboat and the flexibility, comfort, and smaller footprint of a liferaft. It offers quick “mass evacuation with maximum safety for passengers and crew.” This innovative high-capacity ship evacuation system can rescue up to 800 people in just 30 minutes – thanks to its clever design.

Developed by Viking Life-Saving Equipment in Denmark, this remarkable evacuation system includes four EscapeWay chutes that can safely and effectively evacuate people. With a life jacket and special booties, the passengers slide one-by-one slide down the evacuation chutes.

There is also a specially-designed chute that helps evacuees with special needs, as well as children, the elderly, and those on stretchers. This adds a new layer of safety that might not always be factored in, and sets “a new standard for full-spectrum marine evacuation.”

At the bottom of these EscapeWay chutes are four self-propelled inflatable rescue boats with four engines for a high degree of maneuverability and safety. Their deployment is seamless, and their maintenance is also minimal. It has a functional layout that offers an easy seating arrangement­, which makes for a smoother and easier evacuation process.

A “lifting yoke” moves the rescue vessels into four positions – from storage to prepare for launching and into the water where it inflates. A safety officer oversees the launching, which is fully automated and supported by an intense training routine. It’s powered by the ship and has the ability to run from the ship’s emergency generators.

The launching unit for these rescue vessels is either placed on deck or built into the side of the ship as a single unit in a compact locker, which frees up valuable deck space. This equates to just 25 percent of the space for a similar lifesaving capacity. This is particularly helpful in cases where shipowners want to provide more cabins, shopping opportunities, and other amenities for their passengers. Plus, this LifeCraft System is also lighter, which lessens the load on the deck when compared to the traditional lifeboats. This expertly engineered evacuation also doesn’t require an overhang, which is a concern for vessels traveling along the Panama Canal.

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