Expanding maritime safety with new solutions

Viking Life-Saving Equipment can now offer new products with a greater global presence and enhanced expertise

Expanding maritime safety with new solutions

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Spring/Summer 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Viking Life-Saving Equipment (Viking) is a global player in maritime and offshore safety and as such provides passenger ships of all sizes with the necessary equipment for emergency situations.

The company acquired Norwegian lifeboat solution provider Norsafe in late 2018, further extending its global reach. Norsafe itself has had a successful history, having supplied over 28,000 lifeboats and fast rescue boats with davits across the world since 1903. By integrating its portfolio with Norsafe’s, Viking will be able to provide an expanded range of lifeboat, hook and davit products to thousands of customers worldwide.

Viking will also benefit from adding Norsafe’s 24/7 global after sales operation to its own service network: Norsafe provides lifeboat maintenance from over 300 ports worldwide and has specialised training centres in Norway and Greece. Consequently, Viking will be able to meet demand for full-scope safety solutions from products and services to design, installation and training.

“Adding Norsafe’s current network to Viking’s extends our already impressive global reach,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen, CEO of Viking. “And on the training side, with Norsafe’s specialised centres in Norway and Greece offering product and Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers courses, Viking’s training arm will also receive a boost to its ability to help vessel and offshore asset owners manage crew competencies.”

Viking has also been working on further enhancements to its ‘LifeCraft’ evacuation system, which recently passed heavy weather sea trials (HWST). The evacuation system combines the self-propelled manoeuvrability of lifeboats with the flexibility, comfort and smaller footprint of life rafts.

The solution comprises four inflatable survival crafts that can accommodate 203 people each, and a self-contained stowage and launching appliance that can be placed on deck or built into the ship’s side.

The inflatable crafts are powered by electric motors instead of diesel-driven units. This improves the vessel’s manoeuvrability, makes operations quieter and more reliable, reduces the risk of a fire and minimises evacuees’ exposure to fumes.

By allowing evacuation to take place on both sides of a ship, the system surpasses Safety Of Life At Sea requirements and allows more flexibility in vessel design, saving a significant amount of space onboard.

“The HWST involved launching and testing how well the LifeCraft system performs in high winds, stormy seas and extreme weather conditions,” says Niels Fraende, vice president of sales for Cruise & LifeCraft at Viking. “We quickly and successfully manoeuvred the LifeCraft survival crafts on both sides of the vessel to a safe distance, demonstrating their built-in flexibility to move rescue capacity to wherever it is most needed.”

With the acquisition of Norsafe and the LifeCraft’s HWST now complete, the future is looking bright for Viking as it strives to continue setting new standards in marine safety.

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
Friday, May 3, 2019