In 2015, PALFINGER MARINE won the impressive contract for delivery of 24 tenders, 12 lifeboats, 36 davits and six rescue boat stations to a series of cruise ships being built by STX France. The complete lifesaving package is now in production, and April 20 2017 marked a huge milestone for the project: the crucial full-scale boarding test of the new MPC 49 – the world’s largest and PALFINGER MARINE’s flagship lifeboat.
SEATS MORE THAN A JUMBO JET
Measuring an impressive 15.5 metres in length and 5.5 metres in width, the highly innovative lifeboat has a massive capacity for 440 people. It offers more seats than a jumbo jet. However, size does not matter in an emergency if the cruise passengers cannot get aboard in time, and classification society DNV GL has set the time limit to 10 minutes. Tension was noticeable as 200 employees and 240 local volunteers, aged 15 to 80, gathered inside PALFINGER MARINE’s fabrication hall at Seimsfoss, Norway. Failing the test would be a huge setback for the project. The test commenced on Factory Manager’s instructions. From an ad-hoc muster station, placed exactly the same distance from the lifeboat as on a real cruise ship, the “passengers” moved to the MPC 49 in an orderly manner, entered through the four entrances on two deck levels, and took their seats. The MPC 49 is the world’s first lifeboat with seating on two decks.
SUCCESS AT FIRST ATTEMPT
Overall, the boarding test proved a huge success for the project.
WE SET A RECORD TIME OF FIVE MINUTES AND 21 SECONDS, WELL WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT.Global Products Director Arild Lokøy
“Before testing we were quite convinced that we would make it on time, but I must admit it is a huge relief to have actually demonstrated it to DNV GL and STX! Now we look forward to delivering these high-end lifeboats to the customer, and hope they are satisfied with our new flagship”, Lokøy adds.
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