Despite its all up weight of 30 tonnes, the FF1200 surfaced without damage, after plunging 11 m under the water.
The lifeboat is produced using sandwich composites based on DIAB Divinycell H grade structural core materials. In addition to supplying the core materials, DIAB Technologies engineers have been working closely with Schat-Harding to develop the vacuum infusion manufacturing process used.
The FF1200 is the first vessel to meet all the new OLF (Norwegian Oil Industry Association) design criteria for lifeboats in the Norwegian offshore sector. (The OLF design criteria are generally regarded as the most stringent offshore safety standard.)
”The G forces measured in the boat during fall and impact were well below the requirements of the authorities,” says Ove Roessland, CEO of Nowegian company Schat-Harding. “The high drop height makes the boat go very deep and this gives 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.”
The FF1200 lifeboat has a capacity for up to 70 people and is designed for drop heights from platforms and other offshore units up to 33 m (108 ft) above sea level in extreme weather conditions.
Improved structural design will maximise canopy strength during the drop and splash in. The laminates have been dimensioned to the highest standard (ULS - Ultimate Limit State) based upon maximum loads acting when free-falling into large waves.
Compared to existing designs, the FF1200 lifeboat has additional clearance inside the boat for safety and comfort, a more streamlined shape, and an engine that delivers approximately three times the thrust of previous free fall boat engines.