Lifeboat dives from 200ft
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.
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what do you think?
Of course no one inside will be alive to read the G-Force meter as hitting the water from that height & speed is akin to running into a brick wall, spinal damage caused by the head snapping rapidly forward on impact will undoubtedly cause severe spinal damage & most likely death.
Do you really think Mike that they haven't thought of that? They are seated backwards and harnessed in with all the appropriate support and the body does not make a full stop (as in a car accident) so the G forces are far less than you suggest. Do your research before commenting
Research has already been done. On the few occasions that 'gravity lifecraft' have been launched from oil rigs (from much lower heights) serious, although not life threatening injuries have been reported. Although in a rearward seating position Newtons Law of equal & opposite effect still comes into play.
A quick look at the streamlined design shows that it will clearly submerge quite some distance before returning to the surface. This will be like a human landing on a crash-mat, or using a bungee-cord - it'll take the force right out of the impact. That's besides the point, though. The article clearly states that the trial-run used G-force meters. Why would you (who has no access to the telemetry data) assume you know better than the experts who have closely monitored the design and implementation? You clearly know something about physics to reference Newton, so just think a bit deeper about the science of impacts and collisions, and I'm sure your mind will be put to rest. Or just trust the experts.
If they have to leave rapidly in a lifeboat such as this then their injuries will be less than if they didn't use it.
Why would you need to launch this over the side head first, what would be wrong with a ramp and it is already heading away at speed. And is already incorporated at the back of some ships and has been for years, how come we never thought of this with all the life boat oil rig designing we do? surly we could capitilise on this and design a lauching pad. But there again where would businesses get the money to fund it? If the banks did fund it we have plenty of volunteers, In fact the bankers could do a trial run. JOB DONE.Kill seventy birds with one stone. The shipping industry still struggle to find a place to put life jackets on the deck where the life boats are. but make you go five flights down or up against the flow of traffic. And when the ship rolls over half the life boats are trapped.