World’s first electric free-fall lifeboat makes splash-down


The world’ first electric free-fall lifeboat has been launched and is set to go into service.

The boat, built by Dutch boat-builder Verhoef will be deployed at the AkerBP offshore oil and gas rig in Norway.

Power is delivered by an emissions-free 50kW inboard electric motor, developed by German marine electric engine company Torqeedo, and generates an equivalent to 80 horsepower. The Deep Blue inboard electric motor is powered by three 30.5kWh Deep Blue batteries, sufficient for the boat to be used in rescue missions as well as ferrying services, and capable of running for 30 minutes at full speed, and a further ten-and-a-half hours at half-speed.

A free-fall lifeboat has to withstand the heavy forces experienced when dropped from a rig, directly into turbulent waters, whilst ensuring the safety of the crew onboard.

The boat features seating for 32 passengers, but none of the diesel fumes or engine noise which so capably compliment seasickness. Verhoef estimates that the electric propulsion system will reduce operating costs.

Watch the boat in action thanks to this video from Verhoef