VIKING’s releases small chute with big advantages

With up to four times the reach and two 153-person liferafts in each container, VIKING’s new Evacuation MiniChute system is head and shoulders above even the most advanced of today’s solutions.

VIKING LifeSaving Equipment A/S has launched a powerful challenge to its competitors in the marine safety equipment industry with a new chute-based automatic evacuation system.

Aimed at small and medium-sized (doubled-ended) ferries sailing in protected waters, VIKING’s MiniChute system is a lightweight, compact solution that can be installed almost anywhere on deck. Each container features two 153-person open liferafts that come ready-installed on the chute, enabling the entire system to be remotely released by one crew member.

“This is a new solution that’s going to make vessel owners feel much more confident about their ability to successfully handle emergencies,” says VIKING’s CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen. “It’s based on the effective design of the full-size VIKING Evacuation Chute, an exceptionally stable system that can handle the toughest conditions. And at 306 people, it provides the market’s greatest capacity on the water with a single chute.”

The VIKING MiniChute system is fast, too. It boasts a DNV-approved evacuation capacity of 306 people within 17 minutes and 40 seconds (High Speed Craft). The new system is neutral at 10° trim and 20°list conditions, and features high-specification electrical bowsing winches.

VIKING’s system measures up strongly against its competitors, taking evacuation flexibility to new heights. And its 4.2 to 14.5 meter reach places it well ahead of other systems on the market. VIKING also provides greater evacuation capacity and both the psychological and safety advantages of a chute.

“Many passengers find it much easier to jump down a chute,” says VIKING’s CEO, Henrik Uhd Christensen. “The impression of an enclosed environment is more comforting than going down a slide where you can see everything. It can really make a difference, especially in heavy weather.”

On ferries, the number of crew members required to operate equipment is an important consideration, as there may be limited personnel on board. A simple slip hook pull is all that is needed to release and operate the VIKING evacuation system, freeing up crew to assist evacuation flow elsewhere. One winch creates just the right pull in just the right places to ensure the liferaft is swiftly, safely and easily pulled into place ready to receive passengers.