Marine Evacuation & Recovery System

Development of a product solution for recovery to nearby ships - part of project FIRST

by Niclas Drevinger & Frida Halt

Subject Mass Rescue
Status Ongoing
Results Concept, Report, Sketch/model
Owner Type Rescue organizations, Students

In the FIRST-project SSRS have shown that efficient recovery of people in distress can be made lifting davit launch liferafts by crane up to ships arriving at the scene of an accident. The project aims to find a way to do this while still maintaining the improvements that have been made for evacuation. A person evacuated to a liferaft is not rescued, we have to go from Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) to Marine Evacuation & Recovery Systems (MERS).



Evacuation through chutes into a system of 16 liferaft units

The concept combine small liftable liferaft units into larger systems, where each unit have capacity for 32 persons. The unit size is set to keep the total lifting weight under 4 tons since many ships already have cranes that can lift that.

symmetric canopy front corner

The units work as a liferaft in itself but should be kept into sections of 4 to add stability and reduce consequences if something should happen to one of the units.

Unit section of 4 rafts

For the raft units, two concepts with some sturtural differences have been developed. The first concept is a fully symmetric raft, which provides the best stability and safety in sea. Using this reversible structure however makes it more expansive, why a budget alternative also was added. This budget units strenghts is its low price a slightly better behaviour when towing.

Symmetric Unit



Symmetric UnitBudget Unit


Budget unit

The MERS concept is safe, multifunctional, and efficient.

Safe: because people in distress can be protected inside the units during the entire rescue process

Multifunctional: all parts are used for recovery as well as evacuation, there is no need for an additional system.

Efficient: the first ship at the scene can lift 32 persons at a time, a process SSRS have shown can be done under realistic conditions in just 5 minutes.

The concept could provide SAR personnel and crew with adequate tools to perform their jobs and thus fill a large part of the capability gap in mass rescue operations.

If a manufacturing partner and sufficient funding can be found the next phase of the project is to build and test a prototype.


Read the full project report

This project has a full project report available for you to download and read. Please click the button below to download the report.

Download Project Report

Who is behind the project?

The project is carried out by Niclas Drevinger & Frida Halt as an exam project at the master’s program Industrial Design Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in co-operation with the Swedish Sea Rescue Society


If you have any questions about this project, you can send the project owner a message from here.


Share your thoughts about this project and let the project team know what you think. Comments are moderated to make sure a friendly and nice tone are kept by all.