VIKING’s super new LifeCraft™ to the rescue!

Is it a lifeboat? Is it a liferaft? No. It’s a new super-sized, super-flexible evacuation system from VIKING – a revolutionary hybrid that brings together the best of lifeboats and liferafts in one.

Esbjerg, Denmark, October 2013 - Marine and fire safety equipment leader VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is excited to launch its latest innovation, the VIKING LifeCraft™ system, globally in October 2013.

In 2009, inspired by discussions during sessions of the Safecraft Working Group, VIKING's development teams asked themselves a tough but exciting question: What if it were possible to build a lifesaving craft that combined all of the advantages of modern lifeboats - such as self-propelled maneuverability - with the flexibility, comfort and smaller footprint of today's liferafts? And what if such a craft could enable rapid, mass evacuation with maximum safety for passengers and crew? The challenge of answering these questions was the spark that set off an ambitious, four-year long journey to reach an amazing result: The VIKING LifeCraft™ System.

The LifeCraft™ System consists of two main elements: The LifeCraft™ itself – a self-propelled inflatable vessel with four engines for a high degree of maneuverability and safety; and a storing and launching unit, either placed on deck or built in, containing up to four LifeCraft™ units with a capacity of 200 persons each - for a total capacity of 800 persons.

According to VIKING vice president Niels Fraende, this is a product that completely changes the lifeboat vs. liferaft discussion – at least when it comes to high-capacity evacuation systems. “Today's larger and wider vessels mean that the number of passengers and the variation in trim height and list conditions can be enormous in a distress situation,” says Fraende. “The LifeCraft™ is a hugely flexible evacuation system that can cope with such extremes.”

There are more advantages of this hybrid solution. For example, the new LifeCraft™ System is safe on an entirely new level, too. A specially designed chute system helps evacuees with special needs, such as children, the elderly and those on stretchers, setting a new standard for full-spectrum marine evacuation.

And it’s not just the life-saving capabilities of the new LifeCraft™ System that are hitting the headlines in shipowner circles. The system also takes up less room than lifeboats, freeing up deck space for shipowners keen to provide their passengers with more cabins, shopping opportunities and other journey enhancements.

Notes to editors:

VIKING is a market leader in maritime safety, providing and servicing essential safety and fire-fighting equipment to the following segments: passenger, cargo, offshore, defence, fishing, yachting and fire. We are a Danish privately held corporation with group headquarters in Esbjerg. VIKING has been a life-saving equipment manufacturer since 1960, known until 1993 as Nordisk Gummibådsfabrik. Products are manufactured in Denmark, Norway and Thailand.  

We offer a choice of product packages and systems that are standard or tailor made, and certified to the latest requirements according to IMO, SOLAS, EU and USCG. Product portfolio includes: chute and slide based marine and offshore evacuation and embarkation systems, liferafts, lifejackets, immersion suits, fire suits, work suits, pilot suits, transportation suits, MOB boats, davits, pilot ladders, signs, escape-route marking systems and other life-saving appliances.  

VIKING’s advanced marine evacuation systems provide fast and easy evacuation, exceptional stability and are trusted by passengers and crew worldwide. Only VIKING offers systems for all vessel types and sizes with over 1300 VIKING evacuation systems currently in operation.

The unique VIKING network of branch offices, agents, 270 certified servicing stations and worldwide stock points makes us a truly global provider offering cost-effective and convenient service when and where you need it.

For further information please contact:

Lone Aaboe Jessen, Marketing Manager, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment Tel: +45 7611 8217, e-mail: laj@VIKING-life.com www.VIKING-life.com, www.VIKINGsafetyshop.com