The evacuation is the first completely innovative solution to achieve such approval (Image: Viking Life-Saving Equipment)
Viking Life-Saving Equipment’s inflatable and electric-powered evacuation solution LifeCraft has officially obtained flag state approval, meaning it is now cleared for installation on ships worldwide.
Following successful sea tests in late November, the stamp of approval was issued by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) on 23 August 2019. The full commercial availability of the system is expected to be announced in the next few months.
“The LifeCraft system goes far beyond the capabilities of existing evacuation solutions and I am very proud of my team and our achievements,” said Henrik Uhd Christensen, CEO of Viking. “We expected the final approval process to go every bit as smoothly as the previous novel life-saving approval, and it did.
“This achievement comes at a perfect time, considering the amount of interest cruise shipowners are showing in getting this new evacuation solution installed and operational. Now they can take their plans for incorporating Viking LifeCraft into both newbuilds and existing ships to the next level.”
While the LifeCraft system is a completely new product, it is based on proven technologies and extensive tests. It is the first innovative evacuation solution that has achieved novel life-saving appliance approval.
“Everyone in the industry knows that novel life-saving equipment requires strict alternative design studies and documentation that can show their superiority to existing life-saving appliances,” said Niels Frænde, vice president of cruise and LifeCraft sales at Viking. “We’ve certainly gone the distance with the new system, setting new standards for our design and testing activities throughout the process.”
The LifeCraft system can accommodate 812 people in four crafts holding 203 people each. It consists of two main elements: an inflatable survival craft and a self-contained stowage and launching appliance.
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