Passenger Evacuation System Upgrade


Full description

Allswater’s nimble and efficient approach to small-scale modifications brings Owen Sound’s Chi-Cheemaun from 1974 to 2015, ensuring it continues to provide safe passenger ferry voyages for years to come. Originally built with two open lifeboats and a number of davit-deployed life raft capsules, the upgraded evacuation system now includes two inflatable slides (marine evacuation systems) and two fast rescue crafts.


  • A key project element was to develop a customized, technical emergency solution that complied with Classification Society and Transport Canada regulations, while providing unrestricted passenger access on the affected ferry decks.
  • Minimizing the aesthetic impact of the new, larger emergency equipment on a vessel that is considered a traditional regional landmark required a creative approach and attention to detail that was happily undertook by Allswater.
  • Coordinating logistics and communications across nine time zones in both French and English further demonstrated Allswater’s strategic location and project management abilities.


Allswater undertook a calculated, sequential design process to ensure the re-engineering of the Chi-Cheemaun’s evacuation systems were air tight. Steps involved a detailed vessel survey followed by class consultation, initial design, class approval and finally, detailed production drawings. Allswater ensured all system requirements were fully addressed, including weight/stability, structural, electrical, electronic and fire protection. As always, they went “all in” to ensure the project was done right.


The Chi-Cheemaun’s new evacuation system was successfully installed in time for their 2013 sailing season with much acclaim from the crew and operators. The new, electronically controlled evacuation system is capable of evacuating all passengers from either side of the ship within 30 minutes with far fewer crew. In addition to its increased efficiency, Susan Schrempf, president and CEO of the Owen Sound Transportation Company, is quick to add that the new evacuation system is also more safe, so Chi-Cheemaun passengers can rest easy and enjoy the ride.