Schat-Harding has won an order to replace the winches on the lifeboat stations of 17 VLCCs owned by Vela International Marine Ltd
, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco
. Since the implementation of the 1996 SOLAS amendments, there has been an increased focus by the authorities on survival equipment on all ships, although maintenance programs and special tests have sadly not reduced the number of incidents involving lifeboat drills and lifeboat equipment.
As a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to the very highest standards of safety and crew confidence, Vela International Marine, in addition to introducing an upgraded training and maintenance program, has invested in two replacement lifeboat winches for each of the seventeen tankers. The contract with Schat-Harding includes
installation, testing, and training on the new winch systems.
The winches are of a type that require very little maintenance and which, under all conditions, help effect an extremely safe and controlled descent of the lifeboat and combined lifeboat/rescue boat.
Research shows that most incidents involving lifeboats happen during training, and Schat- Harding has addressed this issue by placing the winches at the ship's side, where the operator can see the lifeboat during the lowering process, and can enjoy direct control of the winch brake lever. Schat-Harding is the world's leading supplier of lifesaving and evacuation systems for the offshore, cruise, and shipping industries. Its stated aim is to be a 'partner in safety' to all its customers. Vela has a very high specification standard, and Schat-Harding is delighted to have been chosen as its supplier.