Having announced recently, that it is ‘more than ready’ to help shipowners meet the demands of the new IMO Polar Code, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is set to announce another major innovation for those who want to stay safe while exploring Polar waters – the VIKING VEC PlusTM Polar.
Seatrade Cruise Global (SCG) 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the premier event for the global cruise shipping business and the perfect venue for the industry to view, experience and discuss VIKING’s complete portfolio of Polar safety solutions. And with the Polar Code set to become a key topic at this year’s show, SCG is also the perfect venue to reveal the company’s brand new ‘Polar Ready’ Marine Evacuation System (MES).
“Based on the new generation of PlusTM series VIKING MES launched last year, the VEC PlusTMPolar is a first-of-its-kind chute-based marine evacuation solution focused on technical simplicity, reliability under harsh conditions and a user-centric design,” says Niels Fraende, VIKING’s VP, Cruise & LifeCraft. “Business is booming in the cruise shipping industry, and when it comes to newbuilds, we see a clear twofold trend. On one side, we have the extremely large cruise ships catered for by our VEDC and eventually LifeCraftTM systems; on the other, we have a host of smaller expedition class vessels set to navigate exotic yet potentially hazardous waters such as those surrounding the two Poles. The new VEC PlusTM Polar is a perfect match for the latter type, including all the IACS PC-6 Class, Polar Code Category B vessels that will be leaving shipyards in the years to come.”
Technology, experience and Polar heritage
The VIKING VEC PlusTM Polar can be installed aboard any larger passenger vessel, whether as an integrated part of a newbuild design or as a one-to-one replacement for an earlier generation VIKING system or as a custom retrofit solution. The system includes 40% fewer mechanical components than earlier MES designs and is full of advantages and integrated cost-efficiencies for installation and servicing. For instance, the system only requires land-based servicing every 30 months, severely reducing costs related to administration and logistics.
Meanwhile, the most important features of the new system are those pertaining to safety. “Firstly, we ice-test the VEC PlusTM Polar at -30 degrees Celsius to ensure that it will work at the PolarService Temperature of -20 degrees typically required for PC-6 Class ships. Released by gravity and featuring measures for controlled descent, the system will launch safely onto ice as well as water. In addition, based on our extensive experience including recent findings from the SARex I and II expeditions in Svalbard, the entire system including the associated liferafts has been modified and reinforced to match the extreme conditions under which it may be required to save lives. This includes measures to store Polar Code mandatory personal and group survival kits (PSK and GSK) along with rations for 5-day survival directly at the MES station,” Niels Fraende says.
“They say preparation is the key to success, and that couldn’t be more true for our current portfolio of Polar safety products. Being born and bred in the Nordic region, serving offshore, commercial and passenger shipping operators in the likes Greenland, Iceland, the Northern Baltic and Barents Sea, we’ve had more time than most to carefully analyze, learn and eventually qualify our offerings for the special demands of such regions. A lot has been learned along the way and today we’re proud to run a one-stop-shop for those who require Polar Code safety compliance. Frankly speaking, we can’t wait to welcome anyone interested in Polar safety at booth 835 in the Danish Pavilion for dialogue and knowledge sharing,” Niels Fraende concludes.
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