Norwegian free fall lifeboat manufacturer Norsafe has set a new world record for the highest staffed free fall lifeboat drop.
The new record was set June 25 when the 70 passenger GES50 MKIII lifeboat was dropped from a stomach-churning height of 40 meters (131 feet) with 10 persons on board. According to Norsafe there has never before been a staffed lifeboat dropped from this height.
“The feeling of diving into the water was amazing. It was even more exciting to know that no one else has done this before”, says Michael Røssland, Vice President Norsafe Academy Rosendal.
Norsafe says the drop was completed successfully and the crew emerged to an applause from the supporting crew and technical staff.
“The feeling of being weightless for more than 3 seconds of time felt like forever, although the wait up until the actual drop felt much longer. The crew was also surprised of the low G-forces/impact realized during the drop, and were therefore very pleased with the successful endeavor. We knew in advance that there were no risks associated with the dropping of the lifeboat from the 40 meter height,” added Røssland.
Check out the video of the record-breaking drop test below:
Norsafe recently opened a new training and test center in Rosendal, Norway that is capable of performing drop tests using a tower for free fall boats that is 60 meters high. The towing can test manned to 40 meters, although standard training drops utilizing free-fall lifeboats are arranged from just 19 meters.
Norsafe also holds the record for the tallest un-staffed lifeboat drop, which occurred in September 2013 when the company’s GES52 lifeboat performed a successful drop from a staggering 66.8 meters up, or about 220 feet.