Reflex Marine Launches Frog-6

In response to requests from clients, Reflex Marine has developed the Frog-6, a higher-capacity version of the original, three-person Frog (Frog-3), for moving up to six people at a time by crane. The first Frog-6 units are in use in Indonesia and Reflex Marine is contracted to supply four to China, one to Angola and three of the low-temperature version to Sakhalin Island in the next month.

This new Frog has been specifically developed to reduce the number of crane operations required and to decrease the time taken for crew transfers. The Frog-6 appears very similar to the Frog-3, retaining its familiar tetrahedral design, but there are significant differences. The frame and seating arrangement has been expanded to accommodate six people. The suspension system has been enhanced - comprising three peripheral springs, hydraulic dampers and larger feet to cushion impacts and protect passengers. Balancing the space required for six people and keeping the footprint compact led to the introduction of bench-style seating. As a result, the Frog-6 footprint is only fractionally larger than that of the Frog-3, allowing for ease of storage and landing on vessel decks. The bench seating also speeds up the process of securing a stretcher into the Frog in the event of a MedEvac scenario. In 'marine ambulance' mode, the Frog-6 can carry a stretcher and up to two accompanying passengers. The low-temperature version of the Frog-6 is capable of transferring people in temperatures down to -40°C.

All personnel transfers involve risk, but Reflex Marine believes that using the right equipment, preparation, planning and awareness can significantly reduce risks. The Frog-6 is designed to protect passengers against the four main risks of crane transfers: the feet and suspension system provide protection against heavy landings, the frame protects against lateral impacts, the seats and seat harnesses virtually eliminate the risk of falling and the buoyancy enables the Frog-6 to self-right and float if immersed in water. All Frogs are supplied with a user manual, an instructional DVD and training materials.

The Frog-6 has undergone a rigorous design and verification program, including advanced computerized stress modelling, a comprehensive design review, immersion testing and impact testing. The Frog-6 is manufactured to ISO 9001:2000 standards and Type Approval has been granted by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Project manager, Duncan Cuthill, a Master Mariner, comments: "The Frog-3 is widely used around the world and has raised the standards for safe and efficient crane transfer operations. Our clients wanted to speed up their crew transfer operations, but without compromising the protection given to their people. In response, we have developed the Frog-6."

"Because of my background I always consider the marine situation. Risk of collision is increased when a vessel is in close proximity to an offshore installation – especially in marginal weather conditions. The Frog-6 will reduce the time a vessel is required on station for transfer operations and will enable the transfer of crew from vessel to installation in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner."