Liferafts on show

Mon, 11 August 2014

UK marine survival equipment specialist ISP has showcased a new range of Duarry Challenger liferafts on board one of Liverpool’s most historic vessels. The firm welcomed more than 50 guests to an international open day aboard the ‘Kathleen & May’, in Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

The venue enabled live demonstrations with Duarry’s revamped range of liferafts being deployed overboard. ISP is the official UK distributor of Duarry Challenger liferafts and is responsible for sales, service and spare parts.

Spanish based Duarry has redesigned its entire range of SOLAS approved liferafts – including Throw Over Board (TOB), Open Reversible (ORIL) and Davit Launched (DL) models. The event attracted visitors attending the city’s International Festival for Business 2014 and the British Maritime Federation annual conference as well as ISP’s clients and contacts.

ISP commercial director Geoff Billington said the 113-year-old vessel provided an entirely unique setting to display the firm’s broad range of maritime safety products.

He added that it further highlighted ISP’s growing relationship with the Kathleen & May which is Britain’s last remaining three-masted top-sail schooner.

“The ISP open day provided us with a famous setting to launch our new and improved range of liferafts,” said Juan Fargas, Duarry’s managing director. “Key design changes have been made to the shape of the liferaft storage containers with greater reinforcement to the inner shell. This means that all types of Duarry liferafts can now be stored on existing container cradles on board ships. This will help to improve usability and drive greater efficiency for ship operators.”

Other products on show - for which ISP is the sole UK distributor - included Ocean Signal’s range of marine electronics and Alcares marine lighting. Adding to the portfolio were Seamate HRUs (Hydrostatic Release Units), which play a crucial role ensuring liferafts float free from sinking vessels.

“It has been extremely uplifting to see a surge in international delegates visiting Liverpool throughout IFB,” said Mr Billington. “As a proud Merseyside manufacturer we are keen to communicate our passion for exporting. Overseas business accounts for around 65% of our total sales. In the last 12 months we have enjoyed strong sales growth in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as some of our largest-ever orders in the pan-European market.”

ISP is a manufacturer and supplier of a broad range of marine safety equipment including lifejackets, immersion suits, tactical waistcoats, liferafts, EPIRBs, PLBs, SARTs and marine safety lights. It employs more than 100 people, has a turnover exceeding £7m and produces more than 170,000 products each year. 

The Kathleen & May was built at Connah’s Quay in Deeside and worked around the Irish Sea until 1961. The vessel is now used across the country for educational workshops.

By Jake Frith,-survival-and-training/liferafts-on-show

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