Survival Technology service provider, Survitec has unveiled a new Marine Evacuation System (MES) designed to the meet the emergency evacuation requirements of small to medium size passenger vessels.
Targeted at vessels with passenger capacities ranging from 300 to 1,500 persons, such as ferries and expedition cruise ships, the new MES was officially introduced during the SMM Trade Fair in Hamburg, before it is rolled out to the market from early 2023.
The new MES solution builds on Survitec’s success and growing market share in the larger cruise ship market, where the company has installed some of the largest dry-shod MES systems on the most advanced cruise ships in the world, the company claimed.
Customers can expect to see operational and cost efficiencies with an extended service MES option of up to 30 months, although the standard 12-month service offering remains available for those that wish it.
Survitec also provides training programmes for crew, to improve their emergency evacuation skills and to learn how to deploy an MES correctly.
“We were aware that there was demand for an extended service MES solution with high functionality to serve the ferry and small passenger cruise market. We went back to the drawing board and took a fresh look at how we could drive innovation to meet this need,” explained Richard McCormick, Survitec’s AES and MES Product Manager.
“The 30-month service interval this technology affords, brings convenience to the customer. This is because all of the complex logistics around servicing only have to be undertaken roughly every two and a half years. The cost savings for vessel owners are obvious,” he added.
Using the fully enclosed, dry-shod helical (spiral) slide design of the company’s Marin Ark 2, the new MES ensures safe, rapid and intuitive descent for people of all ages and abilities.
There is no restriction on the size of individual users, and crew can ascend the slide to assist passengers as necessary.
Fully enclosed single and double helical slide options are available in an asymmetric arrangement and the new MES comprises self-righting approved liferafts for 50, 100, 150 persons, fitted with SOLAS A, B and HSC emergency packs.
For use on vessels with up to 23 m of freeboard, the new system will be type approved later this year by class society Bureau Veritas (BV) according to SOLAS and MED requirements.
With a choice of tested SOLAS-approved liferaft options to meet customer needs, the flexible design allows for installation in a wide range of configurations.
Inflation takes place automatically within 60 secs and minimal crew interaction is needed during this phase. Multiple buoyancy compartments provide stability and safety in the toughest sea conditions, the company said.
In addition, Survitec’s Seahaven, the world’s largest inflatable lifeboat, is now ready to be installed on cruise vessels, having received full type approval certification from class society, Lloyd’s Register (LR).
Certification follows the successful completion of heavy weather sea trials (HWST) in December, and all environmental and physical testing concluded in April as defined by LR’s Type Approval (A.520).
Seahaven is claimed to be unique in that it is the first lifeboat to have completed an exhaustive reliability testing programme that far exceeds the mandatory testing requirements set out by SOLAS.
Certification not only confirms Seahaven is compliant with the IMO’s stringent rules for the evacuation of cruise ship passengers and crew, but it offers industry an alternative to the traditional lifeboat arrangement, the company said.
The 1,060-capacity inflatable lifeboat system takes all the safety features associated with a conventional lifeboat and MES arrangement. With its compact design and higher evacuation capability, up to 85% of cruise ship deck space can be freed up yielding up to $8.4 mill increased revenue per year for cruise operators.
McCormick added: “Commercially, the Seahaven journey is really just beginning. Since we officially launched this ground-breaking technology earlier this year, we have advanced our discussions with key industry players on the numerous benefits and the value of installing Seahaven on board their vessels.
“Seahaven not only redefines safety at sea but also revolutionises the vessel design and the cruise experience. Cruise ship operators and naval architects are already looking at remodellingthe space normally given over to conventional lifeboats and davits for additional cabins, enhanced passenger experience and revenue generating opportunities,” he said.
Global service coverage is provided by 59 service stations worldwide, ensuring rapid turnarounds for all customers.