El cursillo de heroe

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LEADING lifeboat and davit 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 55 metres.

Fully loaded and with an all up weight of 30 tonnes the FF1200 was dropped into the sea from a 55 m test rig at Schat-Harding’s Rosendal facility in west Norway this week.. 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,” says Ove Roessland, CEO, Schat-Harding. “The high drop height makes the boat go very deep, around 11 metres under the water, and gives it a lot of momentum to clear the rig. We are very proud of our new boat, which sets a complete new benchmark for safety in the offshore energy field.”

Roessland says 55 metres 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 metres, and so we are testing them as high as we can. It is quite something to see a 30 tonne lifeboat flying from 55 metres.”

Schat-Harding has already received ten orders for the FF1200 from BP and Talisman Energy. The first craft will be delivered to Talisman`s YME development project in third-quarter 2009.

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