Norsafe, global leader in lifeboat design, manufacture, and training, is concerned about the recent spate of lifeboat drill accidents which have seriously injured or even led to fatalities among crew.
A report in April 2016 by academics at the Seafarers International Research Centre found that tight vessel schedules often did not allow sufficient time for drills and crew were often too frightened to take part as they had not been properly trained in using the equipment.
“A lifeboat is your last chance to evacuate a vessel, when it is not safe to be onboard or use other means of evacuation so it is vital that crew are properly trained on the LSA and take part in regular drills,” said Endre Eidsvik, SVP of Service for Norsafe.
“Skimping on training to save money is not an option and can cost lives. A lifeboat and its launching system is designed, built, tested and installed to a set of strict guidelines so it should be possible to safely embark and launch it even in rough weather, and under the worst trim and list conditions of the vessel,” he continued.
The IMO constantly reviews and implements changes to equipment and procedures to help reduce accidents in cooperation with LSA manufacturers but none of these will be beneficial unless crew are thoroughly trained and are confident in using the LSA onboard.
As one of the leading manufacturers of lifesaving appliances, Norsafe has taken steps to help prevent accidents when launching lifeboats.
Besides the continuous improvement of its products, Norsafe has also set up 2 modern, STCW approved, full scale training centres for training seafarers, in Norway and Greece.
The company also offers a comprehensive maintenance programme called CARE Plan where Norsafe works with its clients to determine a structured servicing and maintenance plan to ensure the equipment functions as it should.
During maintenance visits Norsafe personnel can, if time allows, help to check that crew are sufficiently confident in using the equipment or answer any questions or concerns that they may have.