The paper is concerned with the launch of free-fall lifeboats (FFL). It proposes a method that complies with the DNV-OS-E406 standard in order to select characteristic launches from Monte Carlo simulations for further structural load assessment with CFD and FEM. Proxy variables derived from kinematic parameters and aiming at predicting pressure load indicators are computed with the VARUNA launch simulator developed by MARINTEK. The statistical distributions of the proxy variables obtained from the Monte Carlo simulations are used to identify critical scenarios, and characteristic launches can then be selected from a chosen probability level. The feasibility of the proposed method is documented in the paper for several types of pressure loads. Existing model test data from various FFL-launch campaigns in calm water and in waves are used to compute the proxy variables as it would be done in the VARUNA simulator. Scatter diagrams showing the correlation with actual measured pressure load indicators are then established to assess the quality of the chosen proxy variables.