The purpose of a free fall lifeboat is to evacuate people from platforms in case of emergency, and when other, normal means of evacuation, are not possible. For instance, when the weather is too rough, and evacuation cannot be performed by helicopters, the lifeboats are the last way of escape. It is thus essential to be able to properly assess the operability of a lifeboat and the safety of its occupants upon evacuation. Over the past four years, methods to quantify the operability limits of a lifeboat were analysed in a research project carried out for Statoil. As part of this project, a prototype software (denominated DROPSIM) was developed to predict the 'drop and sailaway behaviour' of a lifeboat. DROPSIM is a simplified method based on strip theory, with the objective to obtain predictions that are consistent with the relevant statistical behaviour of the lifeboat, and for the same target level of probability.