Quirky News

  • 18 December 2012, 12:24

Lifeboat dives from 200ft

GES50 MK III lifeboat /Rex

A 'free fall' lifeboat set a new world record - after being launched from a height of 201ft into the water.

The new vessel has been designed with huge container ships and drilling platforms in mind, so that workers can be dropped to safety in the event of an emergency.

The GES50 MK III lifeboat has been designed to fall from a height of 154ft.

However, for its test run it plunged from the top of a crane, giving it a much greater height to ensure it was safe.

The successful test means the lifeboat has now passed safety regulations and it will soon be used worldwide.

The 50ft long boat has a separate compartment for the engine that is sealed and waterproof to prevent any damage.

It has been designed to always land upright, is fully equipped with seatbelts, and has enough capacity to hold 70 people who can climb on-board in just one and a half minutes.

For the test sandbags weighing 220 lbs were strapped to each seat and the boat was filled with instruments to measure factors such as G-force levels.

The lifeboats are set to be used worldwide, with companies in Australia, the UK and Norway already placing orders.

The drop took place in Arendal in Norway and designers behind lifeboat production company Norsafe said they were delighted it was a success.