Norsafe set a new world record on 25th June 2015, when the 70 passenger GES50 MKIII was dropped from 40m with ten persons on board. There has never before been a staffed lifeboat dropped from this height.
"The feeling of diving into the water was amazing. It was even more exciting to know that no one else has done this before," says Michael Røssland, vice-president Norsafe Academy Rosendal.
The drop was completed successfully, and the triumphant crew emerged to applause from the supporting crew and technical staff. "The feeling of being weightless for more than 3 seconds of time felt like forever, although the wait up until the actual drop felt much longer. The crew was also surprised of the low G-forces / impact realised during the drop, and were therefore very pleased with the successful endeavor. "We knew in advance that there were no risks associated with the dropping of the lifeboat from the 40m height," said Røssland.
The free-fall model used was a Norsafe GES50 MKIII, with a capacity of 70 passengers. This is one of the largest and most advanced lifeboats in the world. Norsafe also holds the world record for highest drop without passengers on board. This record is 66.8 meters, and the drop was carried out with a Norsafe GES52, the largest free-fall lifeboat currently built by Norsafe.
Norsafe’s newly opened training and test centre in Rosendal is capable of performing such unique drop tests. The new tower for free fall boats is 60m high and can perform drops up to 40m with crew on board. Accordingly, standard training drops utilising free-fall lifeboats are arranged from 19m height.
A complete provider of maritime security
Norsafe has been the world leader for many years, in manufacturing, delivery and service of maritime security equipment for the shipping and offshore business. Recently, Norsafe received approval from NOROG and the Norwegian Maritime Authority to be a certified course provider in accordance to the STCW Code. Now, according to CEO Geir Skaala, Norsafe is a complete provider of maritime safety services.
"We are today the only lifeboat manufacture who can offer production, service and certified training. It was a milestone to establish Norsafe Academy in Rosendal, which today has the largest tower for lifeboat testing in the North Sea," says a proud Geir Skaala.
At the new training center for lifeboats in Rosendal course participants will receive training with the newest equipment which is identical to equipment at their workplaces. Crew who works on ships and offshore rigs and installations must take refresher courses every fifth year to maintain certificate validity. Norsafe has an academy located in Greece offering similar training, and plans to build academies in other global locations in the next few years.