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Passenger Ship Technology

Raising the bar with VIKING LifeCraft

Wed 06 Mar 2019

Raising the bar with VIKING LifeCraft

After a decade of development, VIKING’s LifeCraft™ has revolutionised the hybrid survival craft industry. Combining the advantages of modern lifeboats – such as self-propelled manoeuvrability – with the flexibility, comfort and smaller footprint of modern liferafts.

VIKING LifeCraft’s new approach takes a wider range of factors into account when it comes to MES choices. LifeCraft has been carefully designed, tested, and refined to ensure shipowners and regulatory authorities are confident in its ability to provide safe and efficient evacuation.

The first novel lifesaving appliance

In March 2019, the Danish Maritime Authority officially approved the VIKING LifeCraft survival craft as a novel lifesaving appliance, making it the first time a novel lifesaving appliance has been approved anywhere in the world. This means VIKING LifeCraft not only meets all the requirements to replace conventional lifeboats on passenger ships, but also advances progress toward greater safety during evacuation emergencies on large-scale ships.

Innovation is in the details

Until recently, the primary concern regarding MES systems was meeting the required capacity and then working through the technical details later. With VIKING LifeCraft, the capacity and installation technical features are all considered in its design.

The LifeCraft solution comprises two main elements: four inflatable VIKING LifeCraft units which can evacuate a total of 812 people, and a storing and launching unit that can either be placed on deck or built into the ship’s side. Furthermore, the LifeCraft has many innovations that take the system far beyond the capabilities of either lifeboats or liferafts.

For example, each LifeCraft unit has four independent electric engines on each corner to make them highly manoeuvrable. Each unit has the ability to rapidly turn 360° on the spot. Such manoeuvrability is critical when safely clearing a ship’s side in any emergency evacuation situation, staying in a safe position or retrieving evacuees in the water.

Rest assured with VIKING LifeCraft

Can a rapidly deployable evacuation system for passengers and crew with maximum safety standards be elegantly designed? Each LifeCraft system can not only evacuate over 800 people in the required 30 minutes, but each unit is designed to fit in a compact storage unit that satisfies any luxury liner’s aesthetic. The visual appearance of the LifeCraft solution is largely due to hundreds of industrial design hours aimed at instilling confidence in both passengers and crew.

“Passengers can be very safety-conscious. So, we wanted the complete package to look good and solid, providing reassurance via an up-to-date visual appearance and high build quality. Then everyone can just relax and enjoy their voyage,” says VIKING vice president Niels Fraende.

When it comes to onboard safety and well-being, the LifeCraft™ solution has it covered. VIKING LifeCraft is packed full of comfort features from natural ventilation, self-cleaning floors, extra-large windows and ergonomic seating to keep everyone comfortable and healthy while waiting to be retrieved.

Considered to be one of the most exciting innovations in evacuation systems in decades, the VIKING LifeCraft System surpasses Heavy Weather Sea Trials and the highest aesthetic standards.

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