Zodiac SOLAS Develops New Escape Slide

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Swedish commuter ferry operator Stirsöbolage has become the first Scandinavian company to benefit from the new Zodiac MES ESS automatic escape slide. This follows the installation of three 3.4 meter slides aboard the Älvsnabben 4 during a routine refit at the Swede Ship yard in Gőteborg.  The Zodiac slides and accompanying reversible 100 person life rafts were designed to be launched from the boat’s bridge at the touch of a button, without any crew input. This feature is particularly valuable for vessels with small crews.

The Älvsnabben 4 operates as a commuter ferry around Gőteborg and possesses a reinforced hull that enables it to work in ice during winter months. The 31 metre aluminium boat was built in Norway in 1994 and can carry 200 passengers as well as 40 bicycles. The installation of the Zodiac MES ESS slides has increased available deck space by permitting the removal of the eight 25-person life rafts in favour of the three more compact and more efficient slide and life raft containers. The operator also benefits from a cost-saving by removing the need to service eight life rafts in favour of the three slides. The significance of these benefits has prompted the operating company to place an order for an identical installation to be made in August on the sister vessel, the Älvsnabben 5.

The new slide was primarily developed by Zodiac SOLAS to meet the demand for greater safety and efficiency on vessels with limited crews.  However, in an emergency, the benefits of automatic slide and liferaft deployment can be appreciated by crews of any size as it enables them to attend to a wider range of passenger safety tasks.  The slide and liferaft are launched and inflated automatically by the ship’s Master on the bridge simply by pressing a button on the system’s control box. This automatically launches the unit over the ship’s side where the slide and raft will inflate. A pair of self-tensioning electric winches will then pull-in bowsing lines to make the escape system secure and ready for use. The only human intervention necessary is for the removal of a locking pin to open the gate and permit access to the slide. It has also been designed so that it can be accessed and used independently by disabled and wheelchair-bound passengers who would otherwise require assistance to escape.

The slide is available in five sizes ranging for freeboards of 1.7 metres to 3.8 metres. The open liferaft is reversible and can be used whichever way up it floats and can be supplied as a 50, 100 or 151-person model.  A canopied version of the raft is also available if operational conditions make it desirable.

The entire system is vacuum-packed and stored inside a square container that is carried on a deployment cradle. When the launch button is pressed the container lashings are automatically released, and a mechanism pushes the container overboard. Inflation of the slide and raft is immediate and the automatic tightening of the bowsing lines ensures that the system is ready for use in barely a minute. The system will continue to function if the ship has a list of up to 20 degrees to port or starboard and if the vessel sinks hydrostatic release units will enable the slide and raft to inflate and float free.

The vessel’s 24 volt emergency electrical supply is used to power the bowsing winches and supplementary batteries can also be supplied that will perform the task if there is a power failure. In such an event, or if there is physical damage to the communications, the system can also be activated manually by crew. The lashings and manual release mechanism are easily accessed by crew members but have been designed to remain largely inaccessible to passengers.

The new Zodiac MES ESS escape system is EC(MED) approved by Bureau Veritas and is manufactured by Zodiac SOLAS at its factory at Chevanceaux near Bordeaux, France. The company also manufactures and maintains life rafts for all types of merchant vessels, ferries, and cruise ships and can provide complete rescue systems combining escape slides, rafts and rescue boats.

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

New Products

Wärtsilä Steerable Thruster Gets Class Approval

DNV-GL approved the design of the Wärtsilä WST-14 thruster, significant as approval was granted based on a thruster design that has yet to be introduced into full series production.

Kalmar 5th Generation Gloria Reachstackers Enter US

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, is launching its highly acclaimed range of reachstackers, called Gloria into the Americas. The eagerly awaited launch follows the successful

John Deere Expands Tier 3 Engine Line

John Deere Power Systems (JDPS) has introduced new propulsion ratings to its EPAMarine Tier 3 engine offerings. The new PowerTech 4045TFM85 propulsion ratings expand

Cruise Ship Trends

Wärtsilä Expects 5% Sales Growth

Wärtsilä announced its third quarter results, reporting that it sees good development in order intake and profitability. According to Wärtsilä, third quarter

Holland America Line & Seabourn names Kammerer is V.P

Mark Kammerer has been named vice president, international marketing and sales for Holland America Line and Seabourn. In this role, he will be responsible for the companies’ sales offices in the U.

Cruise Ship Returns to Texas after Ebola Concern

The Carnival Magic cruise ship was en route back to the United States on Saturday with a passenger from Texas who might have handled specimens of the first Ebola

Passenger Vessels

Containers, Cruises Help Boost Marseilles Fos

Container throughput at French port Marseilles Fos reached 876,711 teu for the period January to September, an increase of 6% on the first nine months last year.

Interferry Applauds IMO Consideration of BWTS Exemption

Interferry has praised a decision made at last week’s meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) that could exempt certain ferry operators

GOST Security System thwarts Break-in

GOST (Global Ocean Security Technologies), announced that its GOST Insight HD GPS Security System was instrumental in foiling the theft of electronics onboard a powerboat in Aventura, Florida.

Maritime Safety

General Dynamics is Link Govt-level Security to Consumer Smartphone

General Dynamics C4 Systems recently received the Defense Mobile Classified Capability (DMCC) contract from the National Security Agency (NSA). As part of the contract,

Three Dead in Offshore Platform Accident

Three workers were killed and one is still missing after an accident at one of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, Azeri state energy company SOCAR said on Thursday.

IBIA Welcomes MEPC Bunker Compromise

The compromise solution on the issue of ensuring bunker quality agreed at the 67th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) has been

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1786 sec (6 req/sec)