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Harding: Hooked up

Seimfoss: Shipowners the world over are about to spend a fair amount of time checking their lifeboats, specifically the hook release system. According to the 2011 IMO hook regulation, MSC.1.Circ.1392 all ships must update hooks on their lifesaving systems. Shipowners should identify the types of hooks on their vessels and make sure that suitable fall prevention devices (FPDs) are fitted in accordance with IMO regulations.
Shipowners will need to replace all hooks that do not comply for a compliant hook. Shipowners have to then arrange a one-time follow-up overall examination by the hook manufacturer or their representative witnessed by flag or class.
The release gear system needs to be modified or replaced no later than the next scheduled dry-dock after the July 1 this year but no later than the July 1, 2019.
This is all good news for Norwegian lifesaving firm Harding which is busy providing solutions to owners to this latest IMO ruling on lifeboats.
Styrk Bekkenes, the 40-year-old ceo of the firm, is ploughing ahead with expansion plans now that the company has changed dramatically in the past 12 months. Last year, Herkules Capital acquired Noreq, the company Bekkenes founded, and Schat Harding to create a merged entity, Harding Safety. The merged company has quite a heritage. Back in 1928, A.P. Schat patented the first skates to launch a lifeboat from a listing ship.
“Harding is constantly innovating and we have a very high focus on product development,” says Bekkenes.
Recently, the company has just launched two new sizes of free fall lifeboats to meet the regulations in the North Sea.
“Besides those two new lifeboats, we are also continuing developing our davit range and we have a lot on our list of future product releases,” says Bekkenes.
Aware of the worrying accident count for lifeboat training drills, Harding has developed a training lock. This mechanical device prevents unintended release of the hooks on a lifeboat. It is located on each side of the hook and is painted yellow for easy observance. It consists of a pin which stops the rotation of the hook locking shaft and is designed to keep the boat safely secured in the hooks during training and lifeboat drills. [28/04/14]

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