The first freefall lifeboat training system in Australia will be officially launched by the premier of Western Australia on 15 October. The launch will be attended by executives and representatives from the government and the offshore and maritime industries.

The freefall lifeboat system has been installed by Survival Craft Inspectorate (SCI) at the IFAP Offshore and Maritime Training Centre in Fremantle Western Australia.

In a joint statement the director of SCI Australia, John Reynolds, and the managing director of IFAP, Martin Ralph, announced that the training facility has been further expanded by the addition of a conventional lifeboat and articulated davit system.

Mr Reynolds indicated that a 7.5m Survival Craft SC75F conventional lifeboat has been installed next to the freefall system. The conventional lifeboat has an articulated davit system similar to those frequently installed on FPSOs, FSOs, and stand-by vessels (SBVs).

The articulated davit system will facilitate the options of boarding and launching the lifeboat from the inboard stowed position or at deck level using bowsing equipment. The availability of this lifeboat system will also facilitate training for merchant shipping and STCW 95 requirements.

The addition of these two new lifeboat systems will compliment the existing installation at IFAP of two conventional lifeboats on fixed arm rig davits and a fast rescue craft (FRC).

IFAP operations manager, Mike Gillespie, highlighted that this will allow IFAP to offer a comprehensive range of lifeboat training options and will assist clients to fulfill their regulatory training requirements at the one training location.

IFAP have already established a strong industry relationship with their range of offshore BOSIET, FOET, TBOSIET, TFOET survival training courses.

The new lifeboats and davits will be serviced and maintained in conformance with SOLAS regulations by service technicians from the Perth operations of SCI Australia. Similar lifeboat training systems have previously been installed in Ireland and Scotland by the international operations of Survival Craft Inspectorate.

Further details on lifeboats, FRC and training courses can be obtained by contacting IFAP or Survival Craft Inspectorate.