Bureau Veritas certifies maritime safety equipment on PONANT's Le Commandant Charcot

   December 20, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

Bureau Veritas (BV), the leader in testing, inspection & certification, recently participated in the world’s first international SAREX (search and rescue exercise) in a remote polar zone.

Bureau Veritas tested and certified maritime safety equipment on the polar ship Le Commandant Charcot, during a trial cruise to the North Pole organized by PONANT.

The search & rescue exercise was performed in order to identify and address the challenges and opportunities involved in AMRO (Arctic Massive Rescue Operation) in remote polar areas, to support safe navigation in polar regions. The exercise brought together teams from Russia, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Canada, and the United States. The international initiative involved academic experts, the officers and crew of the ship, as well as head office management and remotely connected teams.

Le Commandant Charcot cruise ship

The field exercise gathered 67 people, who had to set up a polar survival camp to last over 24 hours on the ice. For BV, this exercise was an opportunity to test all rescue & safety equipment, particularly the ‘Ice Cube’, group survival kit, camp kit, floating polar shelters, survival suits. The conclusions were positive with all equipment tested exceeding safety standards and the ones required by the tourism industry (IAATO & AECO).

The outcomes of SAREX will be shared with polar environment experts in order to support a better understanding of the impact of extended periods of time on polar ice. The outcomes will help the expedition cruise industry and rescue centers to devise new safety strategies as well as to improve their understanding of "the potential impacts of a crisis situation in extreme polar conditions."