REF 2014 – designing sustainable lifeboat launch systems

>>DR BEN THOMAS: So, my research was looking at lifeboat slipways.
There’s a problem with lifeboats – when they are launched into the sea, they can get stuck
on the launching slide. So we looked at a way that we could reduce
that and try and find a way of reducing the need for using grease and oil along the slide,
and we were actually able to substitute it for water so that we can have an entirely
environmentally friendly solution. If you include the material wear that
we have saved, and the use of lubricants – we are looking at saving around £260,000 a year,
so it’s about £1 million over four years, something like that, once it’s fully spread out across all of the
lifeboat slipway stations. We’ve also avoided 10 or 15 litres of grease
going into the marine environment immediately to the front of the lifeboat slipway station,
so we have reduced the effect to local wildlife by doing that.

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