The goal of the FIRST Project team is to make passenger ship catastrophes a thing of the past. We try to reach this goal by figuring out new ways to improve mass rescue, to test these ideas under realistic, harsh conditions, and by trying to convince the world that radical improvements are not only urgently needed, but also practically feasible and economically reasonable.


Here we share our progress on the overall goal and on some of the sub projects that we are pursuing.











Problem / Functionality


Idea / Thesis


Public availability

The overall project

  • Filling the "SOLAS Gap"

    Since the project start in 2007, we have developed and tested many facets of of our general idea of lifting life rafts to ships of opportunity. We can now confidently say that connecting and lifting rafts with people in them is efficient and realistic, even in harsh conditions.


    Even though we encourage local implementation, we realize that  international regulation is needed for this system to be a reality - for every passenger ship to have lift-able life rafts for evacuation, and for every suitable ship to have a means to connect and lift these rafts.


    We also realize that major changes to international regulation is a tall order. But rest assured, we're working on it!


    The first ship that comes to the scene circles the life rafts to calm the seas

    The ship launches a Close Range Rescue Craft, CRRC, by means of a Drive Thru Cradle

    The CRRC brings the crane wire to the raft while the ship maneuvers closer

    The loaded raft is lifted to the safety on-board the ship. Up to 50 persons are rescued per lift.

Ongoing sub projects

Canceled/finished sub projects

  • Life Raft Recovery Cradle

    Problem - Most life rafts are not designed to be lifted. Can we create equipment that would make it possible to lift any kind of raft to any suitable ship?

    Idea -  Two rescue boats might tow a light "raft catcher" that could then provide strength and stability to lift the raft with people in it.

    Prototyping -  Two working prototypes were developed, the first one big enough for up yo 12 person rafts,  the second for rafts up to 25 persons. After the success of the Drive Thru Cradle,  the same welded polyethylene construction was used.

    Testing - The prototypes were tested under varying conditions, and were deemed to be working, but somewhat cumbersome solutions to the problem.

    Conclusion - No go! The LRRC-project was stopped for a number of reasons:


    • It complicates our message - we think all life rafts should be lift-able

    • Complicated, slow and personnel-intensive

    • Questionable how well it would scale to bigger rafts


FIRST is  a project headed by the Swedish Sea Rescue Society, and is strictly non profit.


FIRST  •  Sjöräddningssällskapet

Talattagatan 24, 426 05 Västra Frölunda, Sweden  •  +46-77-579 00 90