Cape Could-Lewes Ferry vessels outfitted with evacuation system

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Cape Could-Lewes Ferry officers have accomplished the set up of a brand new marine evacuation system aboard all three vessels within the fleet – MV Delaware, MV New Jersey and MV Cape Henlopen.

Bought at a price of $800,000, the brand new evacuation system is designed to make the evacuation course of sooner and extra environment friendly. The Cape Could-Lewes Ferry service is the primary in the US to have one of these evacuation tools aboard its vessels. The brand new system is designed to maneuver 750 passengers off the boats inside 30 minutes or much less.

“We’re happy to have vastly upgraded our means to securely and shortly evacuate passengers and crew from our ferry vessels,” stated Heath Gehrke, director of ferry operations. “Safety is paramount. Whereas we’ve got by no means needed to evacuate a ferry in an actual emergency in our historical past, and we hope that we by no means should sooner or later, it’s vital to have this enhanced stage of security ought to the necessity come up.”

With conventional evacuation programs, passengers are loaded onto lifeboats on deck, and the boats are then lowered into the water. The earlier evacuation system required passengers to leap from the deck into the water after which swim to life rafts.

The brand new system is totally different. Passengers aboard the vessel go down an inflatable slide from the deck into a big life raft already ready on the water’s floor. Gehrke famous that almost all of the ferry’s vessel departures in any given yr might theoretically be evacuated inside 15 minutes ought to an incident happen.

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All Cape Could-Lewes Ferry marine personnel are skilled in abandon ship procedures, and emergency evacuation drills are held yearly. “It’s an vital a part of our ongoing in-house coaching initiatives,” stated Port Captain Derek Robinson.

The MES is manufactured by Survitec, a worldwide chief in marine security primarily based in Chevanceaux, France. Whereas this technique is just not required by the US Coast Guard, it’s extensively used on European ferries and ships. The MES has a 15-20-year lifespan and is recertified yearly.

 

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