Posted on April 26, 2023
The acquisition fully integrates container fire-fighting innovation into VIKING’s one-stop portfolio of maritime safety solutions.
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has acquired HydroPen, the company behind the unique HydroPenTM container firefighting solution supplied to hundreds of ships.
HydroPens rapid uptake has been due to its combination of innovation, efficiency, and ease of use. Attached to a ship’s hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crew member, water pressure alone powers its ‘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.
HydroPen was founded in 2016 by CEO Martin Winkel, Jesper Rosenfeldt Hansen, CTO and system inventor. Their inspiration was to apply innovative, safe, and user-friendly technology to revolutionize firefighting on board container vessels.
Around the same time, the industry’s need for new solutions was rising. Nine major container ship fires were reported in 2019, followed by ten incidents in 2020, while the leading transports and logistics insurer, TT Club, estimates that a container fire occurs on average once every 60 days. The International Union of Marine Insurance has called for improvements in ship design and fire-fighting equipment on Ultra Large Container Ships. The acquisition also follows a fire in April onboard a 4,200TEU container ship off Malaysia, which called 50 local firefighters into action after the vessel returned to anchorage.
“This is a significant acquisition for VIKING and for safety in the container shipping industry,” says Lasse Boesen, Senior Product Manager, VIKING. “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 familiarize themselves with HydroPen, there is no going back – and since its introduction, the system has already proven itself in live firefighting situations. HydroPen has recently generated interest among land-based fire-fighting operators who have been quick to recognize its value, adds Boesen.”
“We are integrating HydroPen into our portfolio in another evolution of our full-scope strategy for marine safety,” says Henrik Uhd Christensen, CEO of VIKING. “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 demonstrated by the system winning the Safety at Sea Award for Best Safety Product, Fire-fighting.”
HydroPen’s Martin Winkel and Jesper Rosenfeldt Hansen are happy to see VIKING carry the baton forward to bring the HydroPen system to market.
“VIKING and HydroPen have enjoyed an exceptional spell of cooperation from day one,” says Mr. Winkel and continues: “Driving innovation at the service of saving lives is at the core of what we’ve wanted to achieve with HydroPen, and we are confident that our innovation will be safe with VIKING. Together we have successfully positioned the HydroPen system as the most innovative container firefighting technology in the industry, and we can’t wait to follow the journey ahead, both as active stakeholders in the transition period and beyond.”
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S is a global leader in maritime, offshore, and fire safety solutions.
We manufacture, market, and service safety and fire-fighting equipment for passenger and cargo ships, offshore installations, offshore wind turbines, fishing vessels, navies, helicopter services, fire departments, and leisure yachts worldwide.
VIKING’s products protect passengers and crew on many of the world’s largest cruise liners and cargo ships, and we help to ensure safe conditions for workers on some of the world’s most advanced offshore platforms.
We also enable shipowners and owners/operators of offshore installations to focus on their business by managing their service tasks and ensuring the regulatory compliance of all their products and solutions.
VIKING is a privately held corporation founded in 1960. In recent years, VIKING acquired the Norwegian company Norsafe, whose lifeboats have been used worldwide since 1904, and Drew Marine’s FSR division, one of the world’s three largest providers of Marine Fire Service.
Headquartered in Esbjerg, Denmark, VIKING products are manufactured in Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Greece, China, and Thailand.