Norsafe - World Leader in advanced technology lifesaving systems

Already well received by the global oil and gas industry, the new GES50 MKIII advanced-technology lifeboat from Norsafe provides unsurpassed safety and security at sea.

Norsafe's newly developed GES (gravity escape system) 50 MKIII free-fall lifeboat was used in the company's harshest and most extreme free-fall drop ever conducted. While certified for heights of up to 47m, the advanced-technology lifeboat was tested from a drop height of 61.53m on 26 September 2012.

The new lifeboat is specifically designed for safe evacuation from vessels or offshore constructions, and is manufactured according to the latest DNV-OS-E406 offshore standard, SOLAS regulations and national authority requirements. Its leading-edge technology has been well received by the global oil and gas industry, and deliveries are currently being made to all continents as the new standards are increasingly adopted worldwide.

The GES50 MKIII is the first model in a series of three of Norsafe's newly developed free-fall lifeboats that comply with these new regulations, and, as of February 2013, it has exceeded an astounding 100 orders.

The boat is 50ft long and has capacity for 70 people of 100kg each. It is constructed with GRP (fire-resistant polyester), and most of its components - from the materials used in the lamination of this polyester to the components of the release hook and lifting pad eyes - are IACS approved. The design and construction offer reliable, low-maintenance stand-by and operation, and the boat is designed for skid launch davits. Its strong and solid design provides unsurpassed safety and security at sea.

Launch is activated by either of two fully independent hydraulic jack arrangements. During a launch, one of the hydraulic jacks is used to lift the transom of the boat until the release hook is raised over the top of the davit-retaining bar. Positioned on either side of the central aisle are 68 seats, and all are rear-facing and anatomically designed with a five-point adjustable safety harness. There are two helmsman seats positioned mid-ship.

During the free-fall phase, the seats recline so as to maintain the occupants in a horizontal orientation, which allows for a reduction of the force experienced during the drop phase. After the drop, the seats can be quickly readjusted to the driving position. Although the average passenger weight is 100kg, the seats are designed to accommodate people ranging from 150cm and 50kg to 210cm and 150kg. The vessel is also equipped with securing points for one SOLAS stretcher.

Protection from all hazards

A triple-blade bronze propeller is located within a steering nozzle, offering improved manoeuvrability, increased bollard pull and added protection for any persons in the water. The boat is fitted with a 3,200cc diesel engine, which allows a top speed of 11kt. Electricity is supplied through two independent battery sources.

An internal air supply system aids evacuations involving fire and/or hazardous gases. The compressed air system provides air for those onboard and engine combustion for a minimum of ten minutes at 6kt. This creates overpressure inside the boat, preventing any intake from the external hazardous atmosphere. A water spray system with an engine-driven, self-priming centrifugal pump creates a deluge over the surface of the lifeboat, protecting it from fire and maintaining cabin temperature. In addition, a low point of intake under the boat prevents flammable liquid from being drawn into the system.

Norsafe offers the following free-fall lifeboats and davits according to DNV-OS-E406:

  • GES45: low-weight and flexible adaptation to existing davit solutions
  • GES50 MKIII: extreme-tested and certified for drop heights of up to 47m
  • GES52: GL0437, Statoil guidelines, spacious and service-friendly.

Norsafe also offers rescue boats and davits according to NORSOK R-002:

  • Mako 655
  • Magnum 750
  • Magnum 850 twin-jet.

In addition, the company offers conventional lifeboat systems and davits according to NORSOK R-002:

  • 8.5 TELB/C7.8 davit
  • 10.0 TELB/C9.7 davit
  • 11.5 TELB/C11 davit.


Company profile

Norsafe develops, manufactures and supplies marine lifesaving systems for all types of ships and offshore installations, and has produced more than 24 000 lifeboats since 1903. Norsafe Group is fast expanding, has 950 employees worldwide and its headquarters in Arendal, Norway.

The company has a worldwide involvement that includes production, sales, delivery and service of lifesaving equipment for ships and to the offshore industry. Norsafe has its own production and sales/service companies in Norway, China, Greece, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, USA, Japan, Brazil and the Netherlands.

Norsafe offers 24/7/365 service for Life Saving Appliances (LSA) (phone: +47 37 05 63 33). In addition, Norsafe Group has a network of 45 authorised service partners spread across all continents.

Through Norsafe Academy, the company offers courses and training, STCW95/OLF & OPITO. Norsafe is continually growing, and new daughter companies and service stations are currently being planned/developed.

Norsafe is a a world-leading manufacturer of:

  • Free-fall lifeboats
  • Conventional lifeboats
  • Rescue boats
  • Daughter crafts
  • Work boats
  • Professional boats
  • Military boats
  • Davits

Products and Services

Contact Details

Norsafe AS
P.O. Box 115
N-4852 Faervik

During tests in September, the lifeboat quickly resurfaced after being dropped into the water from a height of more than 60m.
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