Research facilitation and management for Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore industry

Offshore evacuation performance in extreme weather

Lead PI: Dr. Brian Veitch
Subject Category: Health, Safety and the Environment

Start Date: Jul 2001
End Date: Jul 2003
Institution / Organization: Memorial University

Emergency evacuation by lifeboat is a standard part of response planning for every offshore and marine installation in the world.  The primary goal of this Petroleum Research funded project was to evaluate lifeboat evacuation systems as a function of various weather conditions, and to quantify system performance and operational boundaries. 

Based on advice from industry and regulators, Dr. Brian Veitch and Dr. Antonio Simoes Ré of the Institute for Ocean Technology in Newfoundland investigated the performance capabilities of conventional lifeboat evacuation systems in rough weather using scale model experiments. The results provide practical guidance on the clearance required for safe launching in a range of weather conditions, and form one of the most comprehensive knowledge bases concerning marine evacuation systems in the world.

Their work now incorporates engineering performance evaluation and modeling, human factors and survivability assessment and training requirements. The team has since gone on to build a successful research program, securing close to $2 million for investigations of conventional and modified life boat systems, free fall systems, life rafts and slide and chute evacuation systems.


  • External publications with acknowledgement of PRAC
    • Simões Ré, A., Veitch, B., and Pelley, D. (2003) Evacuation performance. Proceedings, Offshore Technology Conference. Houston.
    • Simões Ré, A., Veitch, B., and Pelley, D. (2002) Systematic investigation of lifeboat evacuation performance. Transactions, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Vol. 110.
    • Pelley, D., Simões Ré, A., Veitch, B (2002) Evacuation by lifeboat in extreme seas. Proceedings, Safety at Sea Conference, Amsterdam.
    • Woolgar, R., Simões Ré, A., Veitch, B., and Pelley, D (2002) Safe evacuation from offshore petroleum installations. Proceedings, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston.
    • Simões Ré, A., Pelley, D., Veitch, B. (2002) Evacuation by TEMPSC. Proceedings, Offshore Emergencies, Aberdeen.
    • Veitch, B., Pelley, D. and Simões Ré, A. (2002) Offshore evacuation system performance in extreme seas. Invited presentation, Canadian Offshore Resources Exhibition and Conference, Halifax.
    • Veitch, B., Simões Ré, A. and Pelley, D. (2003) Offshore evacuation performance. Poster presentation, Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association Conference, St. John’s.
  • Reference publications
    • Pelley, D., Coffey, R., Mulrooney, S., Ledwell, E., Veitch, B. and Simões Ré, A.J. (2002) Systematic experimental evaluation of lifeboat evacuation performance in extreme weather conditions - Phase II. TR-2002-19, Vol. I, Institute for Marine Dynamics, St. John’s, 31 p.+ appendices.
    • Pelley, D. (2003) Performance of twin falls davit & lifeboat evacuation system in extreme seas. Master of Engineering Thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

quick links


101-1 Church Hill
St. John's, NL, Canada A1C 3Z7

Tel: 709.738.7916

Privacy Policy