Not really, unless you try reflowing the PS3. I didn't have too much luck when I tried it (PS3 only booted for about 20 minutes) but I also didn't use a proper heat gun either.
The PS3 also uses some proprietary file system on the hard drive that isn't recognized when you connect it to a computer. Not to mention the data is locked to the console it was formatted on, so you can't even pop the drive into a working PS3 to get data off.
If your friend REALLY wants to get those saves off, the only option would be to try a reflow and back up the data when the system boots again. I wouldn't use the system after reflowing as it's bound to need it again. It's not a permanent fix, unfortunately.