BairdMaritime has an interesting and possibly important editorial concerning passenger ship evacuation equipment. I think its worth the read.
“Lifeboats have undoubtedly saved many lives but mostly under favourable conditions. Launching them, particularly larger and heavier examples, in anything but benign conditions can be very dangerous. This is confirmed by the numerous examples of lifeboat drills gone wrong. Lifeboat drills have arguably killed more people than they have saved.
“I was reminded of this by a press release distributed recently by the British maritime union, Nautilus. The release called for “radical new thinking” about the concept of lifeboats and, “to examine the potential of alternative evacuation systems”.”