New SOLAS rescue boat and first order for new liferafts

Zodiac RIBO450 SOLAS rescue boat Zodiac RIBO450 SOLAS rescue boat
Industry Database

Zodiac SOLAS’s latest rescue boats is the RIBO 450N, which at 4.5m overall length replaces Zodiac’s RIBO 420 and provides ship owners with a high quality RIB that is fully compliant with the revised IMO MSC 81(70) SOLAS requirements that came into force in 2010.

The new RIBO 450 is slightly longer than its predecessor as it now includes the ability to accommodate a standard SOLAS specified stretcher. The tubes have been upgraded and are manufactured from Zodiac’s Neoprene / Hypalon fabric and the entire boat, including tubes and composite GRP hull, has improved fire retardant capabilities.

The new RIB (rigid inflatable boat) offers improved handling at sea and can provide a full, high performance rescue capability whilst carrying up to six people. A substantial number of boats have already been sold following the completion of its MED and SOLAS certification by Bureau Veritas.

The RIBO 450 N may be powered by either a 25 hp or 40 hp outboard engine and is capable of operation in extreme sea conditions. With a maximum overall weight of 901 kg when fully equipped with passengers and a 40 hp engine, the RIBO 450 N can be launched from a single point hoisting sling anchored to four lifting points on the boat.

The RIBO 450 N is fitted with two 25 litre tanks that will give it an endurance of some 4 hours with a 40 hp engine. The hull cross-section features a medium-deep V at the bow to improve handling and crew comfort. The boat is delivered ready for deployment and is equipped with items including a search light, paddles and emergency accessories, plus rapid inflation ‘righting bag’ to assist in turning the boat in the event of capsize.

Meanwhile, Zodiac has announced that ro-pax ship Stena Germanica has become the first passenger ferry to be equipped with self-righting life rafts that benefit from the extended packing service available from Zodiac SOLAS. This is claimed to offer a major advantage to ship operators, as it extends the rafts’ service intervals from one year to up to three years. The company consequently claims a substantial reduction in operating costs while the logistic problems that can be created when a ship’s life rafts are removed for servicing are also postponed.

Extended service packing enables owners to take advantage of SOLAS guidelines that permit maritime authorities to allow a reduction in the frequency of costly major liferaft services as long as fundamental tests are performed annually. This is made possible by the design of the Zodiac liferaft containers that feature an inspection hatch that enables the liferaft to be inspected once a year while it remains stowed.

The liferaft inside the container is sealed within a waterproof pouch that protects it against humidity and temperature fluctuations that can cause damage or impair performance. A data socket is located behind the inspection hatch and the service engineer can connect a device that will obtain pressure and temperature readings from the inflation gas bottle inside the pouch. Zodiac says that trials have confirmed that the protection afforded by the pouch and the liferaft’s container will preserve its condition and make annual inspection and the replacement of expired items in its equipment bags unnecessary.

22 of the davit-launched liferafts have been bought for installation aboard the ship, each with a capacity for 25 people. A further cost benefit is said to ensue from the rafts being supplied in self-stacking containers. This makes them simpler to install as it eliminates cradle installations and only requires the shipyard or owner to prepare the deck interface. This life raft container design is delivered ready for installation, complete with factory installed lashings and hydrostatic release unit. The liferafts for the Stena Germanica are being delivered as 10 double stack containers and two single units.

The new liferafts are manufactured by Zodiac SOLAS at its factory in France. The Zodiac SOLAS Sector supplies liferafts for merchant ships, ferries, and cruise ships and complete rescue systems combining escape slides and rafts and rescue boats.


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