For the third year in a row, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment was short-listed for a maritime award. This year they were short-listed for their new dual chute evacuation system, the VEDC, designed to be flexible enough to cope with the increased vessel tilt and list factors on the world's largest passenger carrying vessels. The tendency to build larger, wider vessels heralds a new challenge for the suppliers of marine evacuation systems. Not only must they cope with increasing numbers of passengers, but they must also be flexible enough to cope with increased vessel tilt and list.
With today's post-Panmax breadth vessels, the variation in height in trim and list conditions in a distress situation can be substantial. Only very flexible evacuation system can cope with such extremes. VIKING has designed and manufactured a new evacuation system that solves the challenge of evacuating passengers from wide vessels. The new dual chute system, the VEDC, copes with enormous variations in evacuation height and has one of the largest capacities available. It can safely evacuate passengers from evacuation heights as high as 16.8 metres and as low as 8.9 metres.
Two chutes, side by side, evacuate passengers simultaneously, greatly increasing the number of people evacuated within 30 minutes. The VEDC dual chute system has an SOLAS approved capacity of 559 people per system, and evacuees are transferred dry-shod from the deck to 150 person liferafts. The system uses a large number of standard components, combining the advantages of new design with proven reliability.
A unique element of the VEDC system is the float free function. Unlike other high capacity systems, the VEDC is not stored away in a large box that contains all elements. The liferafts can be released independently from the system and used separately if necessary.