MARINTEK has been involved in R&D activities related to free-fall lifeboats (FFL) since the early 1970's and has contributed significantly to the development of the FFL concept in Norway. Since 2005 the FFL activity level at MARINTEK has been very high due to the lifeboat projects initiated by the oil industry and OLF (The Norwegian Oil Industry Association).
Around 30000 launches of life-boat models have been performed in calm water, waves and wind by MARINTEK. Approximately 20 FFL types have been investigated. Focus is on hydrodynamic loads versus lifeboat strength, acceleration levels versus occupant safety, and finally on the lifeboats ability to escape safely from the host installation without collision. These topics are analyzed with advanced theoretical methods in combination with model tests. MARINTEK is presently assisting lifeboat manufacturers in developing the next generation of free-fall lifeboats.