Frequently asked Questions about Survitec Marine Evacuation Systems


Q: What is an MES?

A: A marine evacuation system (MES) is a lifesaving device found on many modern passenger ships. The system consist of large inflatable liferafts and an inflatable slide or escape chute for safe rapid passage to the liferafts. MES enables large numbers or untrained people to quickly abandon ship to safety in emergency situations.


Q: What type of vessels use MES technology?

A: Marine evacuation systems exist for a wide range of applications including cruise and ferries, high-speed craft, defence and offshore where mass evacuation of untrained people is critical. 


Q: What is the capacity of an MES?

A: The capacity of a marine evacuation system varies from system to system. Survitec’s range can accommodate between 50 and 860 persons. The largest being the Marin Ark 2 system.


Q: What evacuation heights can MES be installed at?

A: Marine evacuation systems are typically bespoke to the vessels requirements. Survitec’s range can accommodate evacuation heights of 1.5 metres up to 33 metres utilising slide and chute-based technology. Learn more about the benefits of chutes vs slides in our Spotlight on safety video.


Q: What are the benefits of MES over lifeboats?

A: Marine evacuation systems provide a number of benefits. Firstly, they provide a reliable quick and safe means of evacuation in emergencies. Secondly, they are compact and so take up little space (particularly when compared to traditional lifeboats).  Thirdly, they are simple to use, intrinsically safe and easy to deploy with very few crew actions. Other benefits include their proven performance in heavy weather sea conditions.


Q: How safe are marine evacuation systems?

A: Marine evacuation systems are well designed, robustly tested, exceptionally rugged and, compliant with the latest international approval standards and deliver exceptional levels of reliability. All MES also have to be tested and comply with MSC 81 (70) heavy sea conditions.


Q: Where can I find the associated approval documentation?

A: The documentation detailing MES approvals is available by speaking to your local Survitec representative or your Account Manager.


Q: Does Survitec provide MES crew training?

A: Survitec provide comprehensive MES crew training solutions either onshore or on-board customer vessels. These courses cover operational procedures required to safely deploy the marine evacuation system.  


Q: Where is my nearest MES service station?

A: MES servicing is very specialised and can only be conducted at specific OEM controlled service stations. Find your nearest service station here.


Q: Do we have specific MES service stations and if so are they on the website anywhere?

A: We have approximately 410 marine approved service stations of which 103 are approved to service  one or more of our MES brands and types, however we also provide MES servicing at locations were there is no approved station by sending our approved technicians and spares etc these would be call flying squads. To date we have never been unable or refused to service an MES ship regardless of location.


Q: How do I know when my MES is due a service?

A: The documentation detailing the service due date for an MES is available by speaking to your local Survitec representative or your Account Manager. The MES is serviced every 12 months in line with SOLAS legalisation . After each service the customer receives a re-inspection certificate, the issue date on this certificate will then dictate the next service due date in 12 months time.


Q: How long does a MES service take?

Service times vary depending on the scope of supply ranging from a few days to a number weeks

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