Viking hybrid LifeCraft receives novel lifesaving appliance approval

VIKING’s LifeCraft™ system has obtained flag state approval as a novel life-saving appliance. Credit: VIKING

The Viking LifeCraft System has received novel lifesaving appliance approval from the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), giving the hybrid lifesaving appliance the green light for installation on all passenger ships.

While most maritime safety products and systems that achieved novel lifesaving appliance approvals have been adaptations or variations of conventional lifesaving appliances, this is the first time a complete and innovative evacuation solution has been approved. The novel lifesaving appliance designation awarded to the liferaft reflects the dual nature of the system, which enables the replacement of current lifeboat and liferaft evacuation options with a hybrid solution.

Every LifeCraft System is equipped with four survival crafts holding 203 persons each. With four independent electric engines at its corners, each survival craft is highly manoeuvrable and able to quickly turn 360°, a feature that is impossible by conventional motor-propelled survival crafts. The LifeCraft System has a capacity of 812 people and consists of two main elements: Inflatable Viking LifeCraft survival crafts and a fully self-contained stowage and launching appliance that can either be placed on deck or built into the ship’s side.

“Everyone in the industry knows that novel lifesaving equipment requires strict alternative design studies and documentation that can show its superiority to existing lifesaving appliances,” said Niels Frænde, vice-president of Viking’s Cruise & LifeCraft division. “We’ve certainly gone the distance with the new system, setting new standards for our design and testing activities throughout the process.”