Free-fall lifeboat sets new world record falling from 220ft in Norway but no one was on board
A 51ft (15.8m) lifeboat set a new world record on 3 September for free-fall, by being dropped into the water from a height of 220ft (66.8m). The new generation GES52 (Gravity Escape System) lifeboat was launched from the top of a floating crane moored in the Norwegian port of Arendal, plunged below the surface, and just seconds later resurfaced and motored away. Due to regulations, nobody is allowed on board during testing until each new boat is certified. Instead, 110kg sandbags are placed on each seat (in this case there were 70 seats).
GES52 was designed and built by Norsafe, that said it had undergone extensive testing that has shown good characteristics, offering the best possible conditions for a safe evacuation in an emergency situation. The boat, which can carry 70 people will be certified to be dropped from heights of up to 167ft (51m), and is intended to be carried on offshore oil and gas platforms.