ROSENDAL, NORWAY — Lifeboat manufacturer Schat-Harding has set a world record for a lifeboat freefall drop by successfully launching its new FF1200 offshore lifeboat from a drop height of 180 feet (55 m).
Fully loaded and with an all up weight of 33 tons (30 tonnes), the FF1200 was dropped into the sea from a 180-foot (55-m) test rig at Schat-Harding’s facility in Rosendal, Norway. The boat surfaced with powerful positive headway and no internal or external damage.
“The G forces measured in the boat during fall and impact were well below the requirements of the authorities,” said Schat-Harding CEO Ove Roessland. “The high drop height makes the boat go very deep, around 11 meters [36 ft] under the water, and gives it a lot of momentum to clear the rig.”
Roessland explained that 180 feet (55 m) is by no means the highest limit of the boat, but was dictated only by the height of the available crane for testing. “We don’t expect to see service heights like this in the near future,” says Roessland. “But we want to be sure our boats will be safe at heights over 40 meters [131 ft], and so we are testing them as high as we can.”
Schat-Harding has received ten orders for the FF1200 from BP and Talisman Energy. The first craft will be delivered to Talisman’s Yme development project offshore Norway in the third quarter of this year.