Giant lifeboats come back to life – in Kuantan


Experts at work: FMS engineers refurbishing one of the lifeboats at a yard in Indera Mahkota, Kuantan.

JOHOR BARU: The world’s largest totally enclosed lifeboats are being refurbished right here in Malaysia.

Two of the boats were delivered to a yard in Indera Mahkota, Kuantan, last month for the refurbishment work.

The lifeboats, with a 109-man maximum capacity, measure 11.7m and tower over other boats in the service yard.

“Depending on the brand, lifeboats typically average six metres to eight metres with a 50-man capacity,” said Malaysian company First Marine Services (FMS) chief executive officer and deputy president Engku Muhammed Bakley Syah Ungku Mokhsin.

He said the company that owned the lifeboats was from the United States and had given the job of refurbishing the lifeboats and davits to FMS.

“This is the first time a totally enclosed motor propelled survival craft of this size has been refurbished in Malaysia,” he added.

Work on the lifeboats is nearing completion and they will be delivered to Singapore before being sent to Britain for installation in March.

“The size of the boats meant that some adjustments had to be made to the FMS yard and facilities.

“We are proud that the skills of the Malaysian team of engineers and technicians – who have been trained extensively overseas – are recognised and trusted by major international companies,” Engku Muhammed Bakley said.

He added that FMS had been servicing the Malaysian oil and gas sector for 33 years and this was their first venture as an architectural builder for offshore modules.

The company also supplies other deck equipment, including waterpumps, anchor chains, helidecks and survival craft.

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