Hong Kong’s Cutting-Edge Self-Righting Lifeboat

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Hong Kong recently acquired the world’s largest self-righting lifeboat, a groundbreaking addition to its emergency response capabilities. Constructed by Lungteh Shipbuilding, the vessel weighs around 200 tonnes and measures 35 to 40 meters in length. Valued at US $16 million, it was specifically designed for the Hong Kong Fire Services Department to enhance search and rescue operations in the region’s waters.

Innovative Design and Features

The self-righting lifeboat’s remarkable capability to recover from a capsize in just six seconds sets a new standard in maritime safety. Equipped with advanced technology, including a positive righting lever within the 0-180 degrees range, it ensures stability even in adverse conditions. This feature not only safeguards rescuers but also enhances the efficiency of rescue operations, particularly in the city’s eastern waters where emergency incidents are on the rise.

Impact of Pandemic and Delayed Delivery

Despite the initial contract awarded in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly delayed the construction timeline. However, after rigorous testing, the vessel is expected to arrive in Hong Kong by June. Yet, further trials and extensive crew training will be necessary before it can be deployed for active service, emphasizing the meticulous preparation required for such advanced emergency equipment.

Future Enhancements and Expansion

Looking ahead, the Hong Kong Fire Services Department has outlined plans for additional upgrades to its fleet, signalling a commitment to continuous improvement in emergency response capabilities. The forthcoming delivery of another fireboat and two command vessels underscores the department’s dedication to modernizing its resources to better serve and protect the community.

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Source: Marine Insight