Our SHIPLINK® cable solutions combine comfort and safety ensuring Safe Return to Port

With vessels of all types carrying more and more passengers, retrieving people in lifeboats from the ocean has become a significant issue. So, the International Maritime Organization prioritized safer ways to allow ships either to return to port, or be able survive for three hours during safe evacuation procedures. Nexans SHIPLINK® cables have met the challenge by providing a number of fire- and flood-safe multi-operational solutions.

Playing it safe the Viking way

The relatively small but luxurious Viking Star, a 228-meter-long cruise ship will accommodate some 930 passengers in a wide range of staterooms on nine decks. This first vessel entered service in April 2015, and will soon be followed by the Viking Sea, Viking Sky, and Viking Sun in 2016 and 2017. 

Invisible cable support

Beyond comforts and conveniences for passengers, the ships include a number of innovations to make the travelling experience safer and more efficient. For example, each vessel is fitted with energy-saving hybrid engines and a hydro-dynamically optimized hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency. The vessel also features solar panels onboard and equipment to minimize maritime exhaust pollution.

The first ship successfully completed a week of sea trials in late 2014, with 80 different tests. A variety of functions and systems were evaluated, including engine and propulsion performance, navigation systems, and speed and stability. Many of these performance criteria depend on a complex array of power and data cables that ensure a Safe Return to Port (SRtP) when a serious incident occurs at sea.

The ship as best lifeboat

In 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) introduced SRtP specifying that critical systems and services must remain operational on passenger ships for at least three hours either for returning to port or allowing for timely evacuation. It was designed on the principle that “a ship is its own best lifeboat.” It ultimately concerns not only large cruise ships, but also mega-yachts, ro-ros and high-speed multihull catamarans, often used as ferries. Ship survivability includes both “fire casualty” (the ability to continue operations under fire conditions), but also the equally complex and variable “flooding casualty” (the ability to remain stable and afloat if watertight compartments are flooded). The list of essential systems is long: propulsion, steering, navigation, communications, fire detection/extinguishing, flooding detection systems, bilge and ballast, and services for safe areas, including medical care, light and ventilation. All depend on reliable, fire-safe, and watertight cables. 

Survival in fire, flames, sea and smoke

Nexans SHIPLINK® cables play a vital role in ensuring SRtP by carrying vital power, control and data in a challenging environment. Cables not only need to be fire-resistant, they must withstand physical shock loads and thermal shocks caused by water jets spraying onto hot cables, and be safe for crew and passengers. Based on nanotechnology, Nexans’ enhanced fire-resistant cable insulations turn into a tough insulating ceramic layer for circuit integrity (up to 1 kV) under burning conditions. Meanwhile, our Halogen-Free Fire-Retardant (HFFR) line of cables carry energy and data for sensors, measurement, instrumentation, communication and control, without generating excessive smoke or toxic fumes.

Life-cycle support and services

Nexans operates as a full-service supplier, not just a producer. We manage our supply chain completely, often coordinating the work of 40-50 other suppliers, while assuring consistent quality and variable delivery logistics. Not only do we deliver just-in-time to shipyards around the world, we consider inevitable ship modifications by sequencing deliveries in-order, so that customers can receive cables in the right sequence during production. Our goals include zero-tolerance on quality and quantity, fast response worldwide, and full international qualification.