New World Record for Manned, Freefall Lifeboat Drop: 131 Feet!

By August 18, 2015 Article, Marine News No Comments

No one ever wants to experience being caught in a potentially fatal disaster in the middle of the sea, needing to abandon a massive ship or offshore installation just to be able to survive. But these are precisely the type of situations that should be well-considered and prepared for, to ensure the well-being of seafarers.   Part and parcel of their continuing safety is having the right training and equipment – such as lifeboats – to be able to survive if the worst should come to pass.

Indeed, the years have seen a lot of technological developments for emergency equipment, and just recently, a lifeboat has set a world record for the highest manned, freefall drop – at a heart-thumping 131 feet!

Norsafe is a lifeboat, rescue boat and military and professional boat manufacturer from Norway with a worldwide presence. They have a line of free-fall lifeboat systems, basically designed for quick evacuation in times of emergencies, via a slide from a ramp on a ship or an installation, on enclosed cabins that can handle winds, waves and extreme weather.

Norsafe already holds the world record for the highest lifeboat drop without passengers, at 66.8 meters or 220 feet, when their GES52 lifeboat performed a successful drop in 2013. This year, however, they set another record with another lifeboat, the GES50 MKIII – dropped from a height of 40 meters or 131 feet, staffed by 10 people on board. The drop was held at the company’s training and test center in Rosendal, Norway. It was a feat never done before.

The crew emerged from the successful drop to applause from supporting crew and staff, and a special experience to speak of; the sensation of being weightless for three seconds, and ‘surprisingly’ low G-forces and impact. What a way to make a splash!

If you found this article interesting, explore the rest of our frequently updated blog for more content related to the maritime industry. For us at Kemplon Engineering, keeping pace with developments in the industries we serve is just one part of our dedication to customer service. Since 2005, we have been providing a wide range of engineering services to marine and industrial customers – on time, and on budget.

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^ Norsafe AS. “About Us.” Web. Accessed 17 Aug 2015.

^ Norsafe AS. “Freefall Systems.” Web. Accessed 17 Aug 2015.

^ Schuler, Mike. “WATCH: Manned Free Fall Lifeboat World Record Drop – 40 Meters Up!” gCaptain, 06 Aug 2015. Web. 17 Aug 2015.

^ “Video: Manned Free Fall Lifeboat World Record Drop.” World Maritime News, 07 Aug 2015. Web. 17 Aug 2015.

^ “World Record Drop for Manned Lifeboat.” The Maritime Executive, 06 Aug 2015. Web. 17 Aug 2015.

^ Image: Screen Capture. “World Record Drop for Manned Lifeboat.” The Maritime Executive, 06 Aug 2015. Web. 17 Aug 2015.