New Polar Evacuation System to Debut

The new polar MES from VIKINGVIKING Life-Saving Equipment is set to launch a new polar MES (marine evacuation system), according to a company statement. The new system is timed well ahead of an unprecedented 24 expedition ships on the global cruise ship orderbook.

The VIKING VEC Plus Polar MES is ideally suited for expedition ships, according to Niels Fraende, vice president of cruise and LifeCraft.

“Based on the new generation of Plus series VIKING MES launched last year, the VEC Plus Polar is a first-of-its-kind chute-based marine evacuation solution focused on technical simplicity, reliability under harsh conditions and a user-centric design,” Fraende said.

“We have a host of smaller expedition class vessels set to navigate exotic yet potentially hazardous waters such as those surrounding the two Poles," Fraende continued. "The new VEC Plus Polar is a perfect match (for these ships), including all the IACS PC-6 Class, Polar Code Category B vessels that will be leaving shipyards in the years to come.”

The company said the new system can be installed on any large passenger vessel, and can be integrated either on a newbuild or in a refit scenario.

 “The system includes 40 percent fewer mechanical components than earlier MES designs and is full of advantages and integrated cost-efficiencies for installation and servicing,” the company said.

Serving periods are said to be set on 30-month intervals.

The system has been tested to temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius, advised Fraende.

“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,” he explained.

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