World’s Largest Self-Righting Lifeboat Recovers from A Complete Capsize in Just 6 Seconds

Image Credits: Facebook/@paul.wan.37

Hong Kong now boasts the world’s largest self-righting lifeboat that can recover from a capsize in just 6 seconds. The vessel is 35 to 40 m long and weighs around 200 tonnes.

The lifeboat will be a part of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department, which spent US $16 million on it.

It was constructed by Lungteh Shipbuilding and will focus on search and rescue operations in Hong Kong’s waters.

Though the contract was awarded in 2020 and the vessel was scheduled to be delivered in 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its construction.

After its tests are completed, the boat could reach the city in June, but it would need many months for further trials and crew training before it can enter service.

Lungteh was established in 1979 and has built many naval vessels and other craft for the government’s fire department, customs and marine police.

A source mentioned that one cannot rescue those in need if the rescue boat capsizes. Hence, the fire safety department requested the self-righting feature for this vessel so people could be saved even in adverse conditions. This feature would also protect firefighters and make rescue operations safer.

Many videos of the lifeboat undergoing trials at Suao Port in Taiwan’s Yilan County have gone viral.

They show it righting itself in the blink of an eye. The vessel bears the name ‘Fireboat 12’.

Its tender specifications mention it has a positive righting lever within the 0-180 degrees range, and the vessel can return to an upright position anywhere in the range of roll motion.

The department mentioned increasing emergency incidents in the city’s eastern waters, and the vessel will greatly help search and rescue in the harsh sea conditions.

The officials mentioned that another fireboat and two new command vessels will be delivered over the next few years to replace Fireboat 2 and Command Boats 1 and 2. However, they did not mention anything about the vessel’s specifications.

References: Scmp, interesting engineering

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