The future of safety through the integration of VIKING LifeCraft
Introduced as a revolutionary advancement in ship evacuation procedures, the innovative VIKING LifeCraft will take on the role of the primary evacuation solution aboard the upcoming diesel hybrid-electric Interislander ferry fleet operated by KiwiRail, facilitating transportation between New Zealand's main islands. In close cooperation with KiwiRail’s team, OSK Design has developed the concept for the two new ferries.
Global manufacturer VIKING Life-Saving Equipment's LifeCraft advanced evacuation system has been chosen as the core safety system on board. The LifeCraft™ system includes four self-propelled survival craft capable of accommodating 203 individuals each. This groundbreaking hybrid solution combines the best features of premium lifeboats, liferafts, and evacuation systems.
Beyond life-saving capabilities, a notable aspect in which the VIKING LifeCraft system is breaking new ground is the digitization of the pre-departure safety checks. Rather than consuming the crew's time and relying on manual processes like testing fuel engines, the system's readiness status is instantly accessible to the captain or safety officer from the vessel's bridge with a simple touch, saving valuable moments.
Exceeding safety standards in its field with exceptional efficiency, the LifeCraft system also impresses with its compact design. All system components, from the EscapeWay 4-chute system to the four 203-person inflatable crafts, are integrated into a single unit that can either be placed on deck or integrated into the vessel's side.
In the context of the LifeCraft system, compactness also translates into weight reduction and subsequently lower vessel fuel consumption. This transformative aspect reshapes ship design and construction: “Be it a ferry or a cruise-ship, the integration of safety systems is paramount in the ship-design process, which means that it at times will be a priority at the expense of aesthetics or comfort. This system makes this trade-off irrelevant by offering a solution that – apart from being a state-of-the art safety system – also is both practical, light, and visually appealing,” says Anders Ørgård, CCO at OSK Design.
If activated, the LifeCraft system demonstrates its remarkable capability to evacuate over 800 individuals within a mere 30-minute timeframe. Following evacuation, each of the system's four crafts harnesses its all-electric propulsion system to move to and sustain a secure position while awaiting assistance. Should the need arise, the four electric engines, combined with exceptional seaworthiness, empower each craft to leverage its 360-degree maneuvering and swift acceleration for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, even amidst challenging weather conditions and high seas.
The first new Interislander ferry is anticipated to commence full-scale operations across the Cook Strait by late 2025, with the second vessel following suit in 2026.
Read more about VIKING LifeCraft here: https://www.viking-life.com/press-releases/052023-major-passenger-ship-operator-onboards-viking-lifecraft/