WATCH: Freefall Lifeboat Set World Record Drop

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August 13, 2012

You may survive, but there’s a good chance you’ll need a new pair of drawers.

The folks at Schat-Harding have recently set a new freefall lifeboat world record with its new generation FF1200 boat, successfully dropping from a freefall height of 60 meters as part certification testing.

During the 60 meter plunge, the boat was loaded with seven tons in order to simulate the vessels full capacity of 70 people each weighing approximately 220 pounds each.  The FF1200 is currently the only lifeboat that has completed the full-scale tests set by the new requirements for freefall lifeboats on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, DNV-OS-E406 standard.  After the freefall test this week, the FF1200 is now the highest certified freefall lifeboat.

“The FF1200 managed this height in an excellent way,” says Geir Arne Veglo, CEO of Umoe Schat-Harding Equipment AS.  “The FF1200 entered the water cleanly and made excellent headway.”

Why so high?  Because the ability to drop safely from greater heights is required as offshore installations continue to grow larger and larger. The FF1200 was designed with that in mind and also to meet stringent new standards for performance in heavy seas which will facilitate the evacuation of rigs and installations in the Norwegian North Sea.

“This lifeboat has been well received in the market.  Schat-Harding has already secured orders for 47 systems and is now receiving more requests for new projects.  We have exciting times ahead as the Norwegian and global offshore markets develop,” says Veglo.

The FF1200 boat can carry 70 persons secured in special seats with 5 point harnesses. After dropping into the water the boat momentum carries it clear of the rig, after which a high power 280 hp engine speeds the boat clear of the rig.

Update (June 11, 2013): Schat-Harding, along with Noreq, have been acquired by Norway’s leading private equity fund, Herkules Private Equity.

Schat-Harding FF1200 70-person freefall lifeboat set for world record 60 metre drop test. Photo: Arild Lokøy
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