VIKING Life-Saving Equipment, a global leader in maritime safety solutions, has acquired rights to manufacture and supply ‘Undertun’ marine evacuation systems (MES). The solution commands a leading position in part of the small ferry market due to its easy installation and use.
Catering for up to 150 persons, Undertun MES are especially appealing when installation heights and crew numbers are low. The VIKING acquisition has been agreed with Sverre Undertun, whose Norway-based company offers solutions which include its well-known Undertun ship gangways.
VIKING has been the exclusive distributer of compact Undertun MES for several years, where its expertise and support have proved key to market penetration in Norway’s small ferry segment. Following the deal, the acquired will be rebranded VIKING Undertun MES, extending VIKING’s owned portfolio of marine safety products and complementing its current activities in the specialized evacuation systems market.
“The VIKING Undertun MES is a world beater in small vessel safety and we are delighted to acquire this unique system at a time when its capabilities are increasingly significant for passenger ships,” said Benny Carlsen, Senior Vice President Sales & Service, VIKING. “Easily installed onboard ships with height restrictions, the system is especially popular with commuter ferry owners. It’s a perfect match for its market and has potential for strong uptake by owners with similar needs worldwide.”
Carlsen added that the shift by Norway’s small ferry operators towards electric propulsion, more automation and smaller crew complements over recent years may also be prophetic. “The VIKING Undertun MES is highly compatible with unmanned ships or scenarios where passengers need to deploy the system,” he said.
Approved to perform in significant wave heights up to 3.0 m, the Undertun MES is available in versions to evacuate 101 or 153 persons within 30 minutes, depending on requirements. It includes its own power source, with deployment triggered by a single user from the bridge or a control unit on deck. DNV-certified for SOLAS/MED and relevant flag states, its walkway is accumulator-controlled to absorb motions between ship and liferaft. Walkway surfaces are also divided – with ‘walking grip’ for low evacuation angles and a smooth surface for sliding into the raft.
Supplied in a stowage unit integrated in the shipside, Carlsen said the VIKING Undertun MES arrives “ready to go”. “This acquisition strengthens VIKING’s comprehensive safety solutions portfolio, also reaffirming our commitment to innovation in maritime safety and growth opportunities.” The move wholly aligned with VIKING’s ‘BP25 strategy’ to grow its presence in passenger ship safety, building on its established market leading position, added Carlsen.