By comparison, it takes more time to launch conventional lifeboats of the type that has to be lowered into the water. Furthermore, it is only the engine power of the conventional lifeboats themselves that makes the boat move away from the installation the crew is being evacuated from.
Clear evacuation routines and a crew trained to handle the lifeboats will ensure proper loading and that the drop zone has been cleared.
The PSA has also recently discussed this issue with offshore safety authorities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA. All of these authorities are of the opinion that free-fall lifeboats represent a safer and more effective evacuation solution as compared with conventional lifeboats.
The PSA regulations, Section 43 of the Facilities Regulations (Means of Evacuation), stipulate that free-fall lifeboats must be employed as the primary means of evacuation at sea. The requirements were stipulated for the first time in the Emergency Preparedness Regulations in 1992 and transferred to the new set of regulations.
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