Viking Life-Saving Equipment claims Polar Code readiness

Viking polar immersion suit demonstration Viking polar immersion suit demonstration

It’s been a full year since the IMO launched the Polar Code to enhance the protection of seafarers and the environment in Arctic and Antarctic regions. Claiming to be the only global provider, Viking Life-Saving Equipment says it offers a complete range of safety solutions for passenger and cargo vessels operating under the Polar Code.

“Like the Poles themselves, Polar safety is uncharted territory to many operators. Founded in Denmark and with the likes of Greenland, Iceland and the Baltics as our local markets, Viking has gained decades of relevant experience. Working with navies, arctic shipping companies, expedition cruise operators, arctic offshore operators and SAR services, we know what it takes to specify efficient safety solutions for Polar applications,” said Benny Carlsen, Viking SVP of Global Sales. He continues: “As a global leader in maritime safety, we're dedicated to raising the transparency of the Code, making it as simple as possible to remain safe and compliant. And while we’re delighted to share our experience and best recommendations for product selection, we’re also keen to welcome anyone interested in Polar safety for dialogue and knowledge sharing.”

When it comes to specific safety solutions, Viking claims to be the first to develop special Polar liferafts operational down to -50° C, along with Polar immersion suits tested down to -62° C. Both solutions are widely used by operators navigating cold and icy waters today. In addition, Viking has developed special winterized marine and offshore evacuation systems for safe mass evacuation in cold climates.

Viking has actively contributed to, and participated in, both of the SARex expeditions in Svalbard, revealing potential gaps between existing safety equipment and the demands of the Polar Code. Here, Viking equipment was put through extensive full-scale tests, building on the company’s unique insights into Polar risks and how best to mitigate them through equipment performance.
Each year tens of thousands of tourists visit the areas covered by the Polar Code, and as these regions become ever more accessible, these figures are expected to keep growing. The advent of the Polar Code is a passenger safety milestone and while experienced operators may need to review, adapt and formalize current setups, newcomers face a more challenging journey towards compliance. Undoubtedly, Code requirements such as those for five-day survival, ice-proof solutions, let alone the availability of immersion suits on vessels carrying hundreds or thousands of people, remain steep challenges to be managed.

According to Benny Carlsen, Viking is well positioned as a supplier of safety solutions to passenger vessels operating under the Polar Code. “Our liferafts, PPE and evacuation solutions are trusted by many cruise and ferry operators that navigate freezing waters daily,” he says.

Visit Viking Life Saving Equipment at Seawork 2018 on stand PB125.

By Jake Frith

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