Viking Life-Saving Equipment has acquired HydroPen, the company behind the HydroPen container fire-fighting solution
HydroPen was founded in 2016 by Martin Winkel, chief executive and Jesper Rosenfeldt Hansen, chief technical officer and system inventor. Their inspiration was to apply innovative, safe and user-friendly technology, to revolutionise fire-fighting on board container vessels.
Around the same time, the need for new solutions was on the rise across the industry. Nine major container ship fires were reported in 2019, followed by 10 incidents in 2020, while the leading transport and logistics insurer TT Club estimated a container fire occurs on average once every 60 days. The International Union of Marine Insurance has called for ship design and fire-fighting equipment improvements on ultra-large container ships.
The acquisition also follows a fire in April on board a 4,200-TEU container ship off Malaysia, which called 50 local fire-fighters into action after the vessel returned to anchorage.
“This is a significant acquisition for Viking and for safety in the container shipping industry,” said Viking senior product manager Lasse Boesen. “We approached the HydroPen originators shortly after the system won the 2017 Danish Tech Challenge accelerator prize. From its official launch at SMM 2018, Viking became HydroPen’s exclusive distributor, going on to support orders from some of the industry’s biggest names.”
“Once crews familiarise themselves with HydroPen, there is no going back – and since its introduction, the system has already proven itself in live fire-fighting situations. Recently, HydroPen has also generated interest among land-based fire-fighting operators who have been quick to recognise its value,” added Mr Boesen.
“We are integrating HydroPen into our portfolio, in another evolution of our full-scope strategy for marine safety,” said Viking chief executive Henrik Uhd Christensen. “The HydroPen system meets a specific and widespread industry challenge and safety concern while aligning with Viking’s role as an innovation leader and trusted safety partner, as also demonstrated by the system winning the Safety at Sea Award for Best Safety Product, Fire-fighting.”
Attached to a ship’s hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crew member, water pressure powers hydroPen’s ‘drill and spray’ nozzle to penetrate a container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish a fire with water, foam or CO2 – directly at its source.
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