Department of Ship’s Operation

Gdynia Maritime University / Faculty of Navigation


Research / The following scientific research work has been carried out

Construction of a life-saving platform for picking up survivors and life-rafts with survivors whose lives are endangered by extreme and stormy hydro-meteorological conditions at sea. Gdynia 2001

Construction of a life-saving platform for picking up survivors and life-rafts with survivors whose lives are endangered by extreme and stormy hydro-meteorological conditions

In spite of constant technological progress in vessels’ construction and equipment; quality and reliability of the navigation and communication devices; increase of the crews’ and meteorologists’ competence, the accidents at sea are unavoidable – sometimes they can even be classified as a tragic disasters with a large death toll. Some of the recent examples include two tragic accidents which happened on the Baltic Sea in not so distant past – sinking of m/f „Heweliusz” and m/f „Estonia”.

In both cases, picking up the survivors, especially exhausted, unconscious or chilled ones, had been extremely difficult. Standard equipment of the rescue vessels is not always efficient in the storm weather – there is a lack of efficient devices enabling picking up the rafts and shipwrecked from the sea.

Research team of Gdynia Maritime University undertook the task of solving this problem. In cooperation with Wrocław University of Technology, Wisła Shipyard of Gdańsk and BTT-Automatyka Company of Gdańsk a prototype of the device allowing efficient pick-up of the survivors from the rafts or water without endangering the life of the members of the rescue team was developed and constructed. The prototype was mounted on „Sztorm-2” rescue vessel, which was designated for the tests by Maritime Search And Rescue Service. The prototype was tested in extreme and stormy conditions in the Bay of Gdańsk.

Performance tests took place in January 2002 in quite difficult weather conditions with gale force winds, mean wave height of 2,5 m (maximum height reaching 4m). The concept of the device proved to be right and adopted technical solutions passed all the tests. The device has to be designed with the specific vessel and its naval characteristics in mind, so in the case of the ship owner’s order all the observations and remarks made during the tests shall be taken into consideration.

 

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