Categories: Business, EuropePublished On: 20.11.2017578 words2.9 min read

Danish invention to save lives in harbours globally

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LifeLadder, a new rescue ladder designed to increase safety in harbours, is soon ready for its global launch. The first installations will be in four locations across Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Copenhagen, 9th November 2017

LifeLadder – a rescue ladder illuminated by solar powered LEDs. Photo: Port-Safety

It’s bright yellow. It’s built in reinforced plastic. At night it’s illuminated by solar-powered LED light. Most importantly: It can save lives.

LifeLadder is a brand new maritime safety device developed to save people’s lives in harbours. The invention of the ladder came from the tragic fact that 25% of all drowning accidents in Denmark occur within harbour areas. With the global trend for industrial harbours being developed into residential or recreational areas, the need for this particular safety equipment is increasing.

Lower maintenance costs

“When it comes to rescue ladders, we already have a high level of safety in Port of Helsingborg. As I see it, LifeLadder will reduce our expenses related to maintenance as we currently need to paint and mark the position of the recue ladders on the quayside,” says Mr. Jörgen Johansson, Head of Construction at Port of Helsingborg, Sweden. Jörgen Johansson and his colleagues will install and test 16 of the new Danish LifeLadders in Helsingborg.

“If results are positive, we may well invest in more rescue ladders. We are always open to new and well thought-through solutions,” continues Jörgen Johansson.

Increased visibility

“LifeLadder will greatly increase the visibility of rescue ladders. Visibility is of utmost importance as every second counts for a person in the water on a cold winter’s day,” says Mr. Allan Ansberg Knudsen, Systems Engineering Manager at Port of Aarhus, Denmark. The Port of Aarhus will test 10 of the new LifeLadders.

Jan Hartog from Mourik, a Dutch lock servicing company, adds “In the Netherlands we have a lot of non-commercial shipping activity. We expect that LifeLadder will ensure that untrained people will find the safety ladders a lot easier. This is especially important in situations with panic”.

The urbanisation of harbours

“The need to increase safety with new rescue ladders becomes more pressing as harbours become an integrated part of city centres. In many ports in Denmark, residential areas expand right out to the quayside itself. Although this is not quite the case in Svendborg, there is an increasing amount of both people and recreational activities in those areas of the harbour that was previously a workplace for people accustomed to the environment. Therefore, we’re now increasing safety in the industrial harbour and have so far ordered ten LifeLadders…and might need more,” says Mr. Hans Søby, Harbourmaster at the Municipality of Svendborg, Denmark.

“When compared with traditional ladders, the obvious advantage of the LifeLadder is its visibility day and night. Previously, we have tested other ladders…including some with reflective tape. Reflective tape, however, requires that a person in the water at night has access to a light source,” Hans Søby continues.

“There are many challenges with traditional steel ladders: they rust, bend and break. With regards to both mounting and repair, LifeLadder seems to be a relatively simple solution, which is easy to work with,” states Hans Søby.

LifeLadder will enter the production phase in January 2018. It is manufactured, marketed and distributed by Port-Safety. The market maturing of LifeLadder is sponsored by The Market Development Fund in Denmark.