Zelim's Swift System: The Rapid Solution for Man Overboard Situations in Harsh Offshore Conditions

Screenshot from Zelim video
Screenshot from Zelim video

A new rescue system is said to be able to dramatically increase the chances of pulling anyone who has fallen overboard from a ship safely out of the water in under a minute.

At a three-day demonstration around Vattenfall’s Ramsgate offshore wind cluster, offshore search, and rescue specialists Zelim demonstrated how their Swift Rescue Conveyor system was around four times faster in safely recovering man overboard situations in the harbourside demonstration and twenty times faster offshore, Vattenfall said Monday.

"The Swift system operates like a conveyor belt which is rapidly deployed into the water and pulls people to safety on board. The trials in Ramsgate showed it to be much faster, safer and easier to rescue one or more people compared with conventional rescue systems," Vattenfall said.

According to Vattenfall, demonstrations to recover a manikin carried out harbourside showed that Zelim’s Swift system was around four times faster than other conventional systems. When the trials moved two nautical miles offshore, in high winds and choppy seas, Swift performed even better being twenty times faster at recovering the manikin.

Vattenfall said that the Swift can be incorporated into the design of a new crew transfer vessel or retrofitted, providing an enhanced rescue capability, making it ideal for use in the offshore wind industry.

"In the offshore wind industry, every sea voyage is associated with risk, especially when technicians switch from crew transfer vessels to offshore turbines under challenging weather conditions," the offshore wind developer said.

The demonstration was organized in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, with whom Vattenfall cooperates for testing and demonstrating new technologies for the offshore renewable industry. Zelim Swift was operated by a single Zelim engineer, while the conventional equipment was operated by a member of the CWind vessel crew who supplied the boat for the demonstration.

Sam Mayall, CEO of Zelim said:"When bringing a new life-saving product to market, proof of performance is everything. We are very grateful for the support from Vattenfall, CWind and ORE Catapult who gave us this opportunity to show the world just how well the Swift works. The conditions were rough, with most vessels electing to shelter in Ramsgate harbour, but it set the stage perfectly for an overboard recovery trial, because as we all know accidents tend to occur when the sun isn’t shining. We are very excited to see the first Swift production units roll out in the next month and start saving lives” 

Hamish MacDonald, Project Engineer at ORE Catapult, said:"To achieve and maintain the considerable pipeline of offshore wind installation ahead, large quantities of vessels and personnel will need to attend wind farm sites. Many of the prospective future locations are in deeper waters, further from shore and in more hazardous conditions. Ensuring the wellbeing of everyone offshore is vital, and Zelim is playing an important role for health and safety in the offshore wind sector.”

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