ZURICH, Switzerland -- Schat-Harding is launching a new generation freefall lifeboat for the offshore industry. The FF1200 boat and matching davit will have a capacity for up to 70 persons and will be suitable for drop heights from platforms and other offshore units up to 33 m (108 ft) above sea level in extreme conditions. According to Schat-Harding, the new design meets all the new OLF (The Norwegian Oil Industry Association) design criteria for lifeboats in the Norwegian offshore sector.
Schat-Harding, working with the OLF, has also introduced a new seat, seat belt, and head protection arrangement, which will ensure that all personnel in the lifeboat are protected from high g forces when launched even into the troughs of large waves, the company says.
The new seats and head restraints have been tested based on a worst-case scenario with waves up to 15 m (49 ft) high. These seats and restraints will be fitted to the new FF1200 and also be available for retrofit to the FF1000 and FF48 freefall boats in service.
The FF1200 is16.17 m (53 ft) long, 3.88 m (12.7 ft) wide, 4.89 m (16 ft) high, weighs 30 metric tons (33 tons) loaded, and23 metric tons (25 tons) unloaded.
A full size prototype will be tested at the end of 2008. The company has already received orders for new boats from BP Norge for the Skarvfield FPSO and Valhall Redevelopment project, and Talisman Energy for the Yme Redevelopment project. The first delivery is due March 2009.