The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has selected SKYDEX Technologies to provide shock mitigating kneeling decks on board the maritime organisation’s fleet of D Class Lifeboats.
The inflatable D Class lifeboat was first introduced to the RNLI’s fleet in 1963 with the design evolving over the years to meet changes in demand and technology.
The craft operates close to shore and is often used for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations.
Working closely with the RNLI, SKYDEX developed a customised solution to meet the unique needs of the D Class Lifeboat.
“Safety is our top priority, but a design has to fulfil our requirements,” said RNLI’s engineers.
“We needed to find a balance between protecting our crew, comfort and developing a product that allows for critical care such as CPR and other SAR activities.”
The SKYDEX Shock Mitigating Kneeling Deck underwent on-water trials as well as lab-based performance testing at SKYDEX.
The combination of this product with other potential craft enhancements in the future has enabled the design team to achieve their risk reduction goals while maintaining a focus on crew performance.
“We have an unwavering commitment to protecting people and things that matter and are excited for our ongoing work with the RNLI,” said Alvaro Vaselli, president and CEO of SKYDEX.
“Our organisations share several core values, the biggest being the protection of human life.”
She added: “I was impressed with the rigor of their testing protocol and grateful to have worked closely with the engineering and supply team.
“We have a shared success in producing a solution that has been proven to provide impact reduction and the increasingly important focus on protection from whole-body vibration.”
The mattress will now be systematically rolled out to D-class lifeboat stations over the course of 2024 and 2025.