Past Event

Meeting of the Sub-Committee on Ship Systems
and Equipment (SSE-1)

London, March 10-14, 2014


An energy independent, all hydraulic Lifeboat Launch and Recovery System for passenger ships based on robust active heave compensated knuckle boom cranes.

To start with, allow me to quote from Horatio Clare’s sharp-eyed and huge-hearted prose “Down to the Sea in Ships”, where he gives a beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects, and a fascinating study of big business afloat.

"When it comes to lifeboat drills, admittedly on a container ship, it reads like that: We divide to our assigned lifeboat stations, port or starboard, where we done life jackets. We check that the lights switch on and that the whistles blow, then we file into the lifeboat. An orange capsule like a suppository with a little turret, the lifeboat is painted pistachio-green inside. No one can see out except for the helm. We strap in. Every face betrays the same feeling: this is ghastly.

The first thing that happens is we issue seasick pills, otherwise someone will puke and then everyone will puke. There is no doubt about that. Strapped in, facing each other, blind to the sea, acting as a kind of meat ballast in the bottom of a capsule which would be upside down half the time, in any sort of storm, you would certainly puke."

There is not much difference in lifeboat loading compared to a passenger ship, with the exception of the boat's jump into the water. Therefore it can’t be repeated enough:

It’s time for a change to a humane lifesaving system!

Hundred and two years after the sinking of the Titanic, AMEM consulting was given the chance to present a totally new solution of a lifeboat launch and retrieval system in its entirety to IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Design in London, on March 11, 2014, chaired by Dr. Susumu Ota of Japan.

It is one of the very rare attempts to come up with a lifesaving systems that offers the possibilities to safely abandon all passengers and mariners, in totally enclosed lifeboats featuring a design and embarkation arrangement that copes with the most sophisticated lifting technologies – all hydraulic, energy independent, heave compensated knuckle boom cranes - and human dignity!

It does away not only with davits and hooks but also with chutes, escape slides and inflatable life rafts on board passenger ships in general and cruise ships in particular.

Let’s not wait for a real worst case scenario with thousands of human beings in distress who face increasingly exposed risks while at sea!

April 2014

John Kuehmayer


The headquarters of the IMO International Maritime Organization, London

Seafarers' Memorial at the headquarters of IMO, London


IMO Plenary

IMO Plenary

Dr. Susumu Ota, Chairman



MR. Dr. Viktor Siegl, Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Austrian Maritime Authority

Anthony Hogan, AMSA Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Australia’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO


Mikhail Gappoev, Secretary, Ship Safety & Equipment, Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment

Dr. Viktor Siegl, Ministry of Transport, Innovation & Technology, Austrian Maritime Authority

Johannes Kühmayer, AMEM Consulting

Johannes Kühmayer, AMEM Consulting