World record lifeboat boarding

440 people in five minutes and 21 seconds

World_Record_Passengers lining up
  • The very first full scale boarding test of the world’s largest lifeboat, PALFINGER MARINE’s new flagship for the cruise industry, landed the company a new world record. In 2015 PALFINGER MARINE won the impressive contract for delivery of 24 tenders, 12 lifeboats, 36 davits and six rescue boat stations to a series of cruise ships being built by STX France. The complete lifesaving package is now in production, and 20 April marked a huge milestone for the project: The crucial full scale boarding test of the new MPC 49 – the world’s largest and PALFINGER MARINE’s flagship lifeboat.

Seats more than a jumbo jet
Measuring an impressive 15.5 m in length and 5.5 m in width, the highly innovative lifeboat has a capacity of massive 440 people. It offers more seats than a jumbo jet. However, in an emergency size does not matter if the cruise passengers cannot get aboard in time, and class society DNV GL has set the time limit to 10 minutes. Tension was noticeable as 200 employees and 240 local volunteers, aged 18 to 88, gathered inside PALFINGER MARINE’s assembly hall at Seimsfoss, Norway. Failing the test would be a huge setback for the project.

To Factory Manager Arvid Skogseide’s instructions, the test commenced. From an ad-hoc muster station, placed in exactly the same distance from the lifeboat as on a real cruise ship, the “passengers” moved orderly to the MPC 49 and entered through the four entrances on two deck levels. During the test period of one hour, the exercise was repeated one time only! 

Success at first attempt
“Overall, the boarding tests proved a huge success for the project. The first test was performed within the time limit of 10 minutes, already at first attempt we set a record time of five minutes and 21 seconds”, Global Products Director Arild Lokøy reports.

“Before testing we were quite convinced that we would make it on time, but I must admit it’s a huge relief to actually have demonstrated it to DNV GL and STX! Now we look forward to delivering these high-end lifeboats to the customer, and hope they are satisfied with our new flagship for the cruise industry”, Lokøy adds.

MPC 49:

  • Length: 15 m
  • Width: 5,52 m
  • Capacity: 440 persons
  • The world’s largest lifeboat, offering a roomier interior and a comfort level far above the present industry standard
  • The world’s first double-decker lifeboat, equipped with two entrances on each deck for quicker and easier boarding.
  • Accompanied by a new all-enclosed davit with a sleek and elegant design, which enhances the ship’s overall appearance and reduces the need for davit maintenance.

Image Gallery

  • World_Record_Passengers lining up
  • World_Record_Styrk Bekkenes
  • World_Record_Test Passengers


PALFINGER MARINE is the global leading manufacturer of highly reliable, innovative and customised deck equipment and handling solutions for the maritime industries. Its worldwide services network, including spare parts supply, guarantees prompt and professional on-site support. The internationally operating company, which has its registered office in Salzburg (Austria) is part of the publicly listed PALFINGER Group.


For many years PALFINGER has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative lifting solutions for use on commercial vehicles and in the maritime field. As a multinational group headquartered in Bergheim, the PALFINGER Group, which has approx. 9,580 employees, generated total sales of approx. EUR 1,357.0 million in 2016.

The Group has production and assembly facilities in Europe, in North and South America, as well as in Asia. The pillars of corporate strategy comprise innovation and the further internationalization as well as the growing flexibility of products, services and processes. PALFINGER is regarded not only as the market leader, but also the technology leader, in the global market for hydraulic loader cranes. PALFINGER is always in proximity to its customers due to its over 5,000 sales and services centres located in over 130 countries across all continents.

© Palfinger Marine GmbH


Christina Zopf 
Marketing Manager | PALFINGER MARINE 
T +43 662 4684 |

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