So far there have not been any accidents from the extensive training carried out on a daily basis at a large number of training centers around Europe and the rest of the world, where it is a requirement. Why are the risk higher in USA??
During actual launching of lifeboats there have been several accidents only the last year. To my knowledge one of those were from accidental launching of a freefall lifeboat during servicing and caused by lack of actual training and understanding of the systems involved.
I have done only one drop and that from only 22 m. but I can say that it was a painless experience and why I’m convinced that this is the way to go.
But knowledge and training is necessary for safe operation in an emergency, here like in all other things maritime.
Is it less risky to do the lifelike fire fighting training described in another thread here??
I did a firefighting instructor course while in the Navy. It was so realistic that two persons ended up in the sickbay with burns by the end of the week. They didn’t learn quick enough.
The Dutch experience:
Looks like some Americans have gone thru freefall training: