Lifeboats on passenger ships are usually designed to be swung clear of the vessel on davits, then lowered by cables to water level.
However, if the ship is listing, the lifeboats on the high side can rapidly become unusable.
If the davits are designed to reach further out than the current versions,
as the ship lists further, the suspended lifeboat will pivot until its keel contacts the hull.
The hoisting tackle is then detached, and rollers with rubber tyres then allow the boat to move (sideways, as far as it is concerned) all the way into a horizontal position, and then slowly (braked by the crew on board) move in a controlled way down the side of the hull to the water.
The final few metres will most likely be fairly abrupt as the boat rolls down into the water - at this point, all hatches should be secured and sealed, and all personnel on board need to be wearing seatbelts.