Aurora Botnia to utilise evacuation systems instead of lifeboats

25.3.2021 Media releases

Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma is currently constructing Wasaline’s new car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia. Instead of lifeboats, the ship safety setup will be based on two marine evacuation systems supplied by Viking Life-Saving Equipment. In case of an emergency, the systems can be deployed in just 90 seconds and save more than 1,100 lives in less than 30 minutes. One of the evacuation systems was successfully tested at the shipyard in Rauma on Wednesday, March 24.

The construction of the car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia is at a high level of activity at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma.

Instead of lifeboats, Aurora Botnia will utilise two evacuation systems as safety equipment, that can be launched from the deck of the ship. The systems are based on an evacuation chute and an automatically inflatable life raft. Once the life raft has been deployed, evacuating passengers can quickly slide to safety through the evacuation chute.

Compared to a lifeboat, a marine evacuation system has many advantages: it takes up little space, it can be deployed in a very short time, it has a high capacity, and it enables quick rescue operations.

“A ship the size of Aurora Botnia would need about six to eight traditional lifeboats. One lifeboat would accommodate a maximum of 150 passengers and its deployment would take about 10 minutes and require the assistance of four people. Only two evacuation systems are needed on board and it only takes about 90 seconds for one to two people to deploy one system. Aurora Botnia is the first Finnish passenger ship to completely replace lifeboats with evacuation systems”, says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.

One of the ship’s evacuation systems was successfully tested on Wednesday, March 24, at RMC’s shipyard in Rauma.

“Testing went well and we detected no technical issues. Some 20 people were rescued very quickly with the use of the system”, says Johanna Kaijo, Project Manager of Aurora Botnia at Rauma Marine Constructions.

Aurora Botnia, which will be completed this spring, will operate a route between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå. The ship will be the most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry in the world.

A video from the marine evacuation system test can be viewed here: