What to Know About Survival Suits
No sailor ever dreams of abandoning ship. Mariners train for it and participate in continuous ongoing drills nevertheless once the drill is over it is quickly business as usual aboard. Owners of vessels spend a lot of energy and invest in specialized equipment just as an insurance should an abandon ship event to ever occur. But with all the precautions and training things can go wrong and quickly they do. When the ship does flounder, and one finds themselves with the decision to jump into the water being a little prepared increases the chances of a better outcome in that terrible situation. Therefore, a simple thing like having a floatation device in a desperate situation can go a long way in ensuring a positive outcome. A thing to consider when outfitting, renewing or upgrading the overboard equipment is to minimize the exposure to the elements especially the water. A person floating in the water will lose body heat and loose physical and mental capability rapidly therefore if there is a way to reduce that until help arrives is an important factor because one also never knows how far or how long that will take.
Personal Floatation Device
Personal floatation device or PFD
as they are commonly referred to have over the years and have become less bulky and comfortable to wear. There is also protective clothing such as work jackets, bibs or coveralls that not only provide much protection from the elements but also provide floatation by themselves. Many of the life jackets
incorporate handy pockets for additional items and come with reflective tape or a water activated strobe. The recreation PFD’s work well but it is worthwhile to browse the commercial PFD selection as well because there is a huge selection that might be better suited to the offshore fishing excursions you and your friends take for granted.
One should not presume that survival suits are suited for the frigid water because floating in tropical waters can also have detrimental effects on the body especially if age and physical condition is taken into consideration. Immersion suits have evolved from the bulky neoprene survival suits to comfortable suits such as the immersion survival rescue suits or exposure work suits offered by ‘Mustang Survival ®
’, ‘Survitec Survival Products
®’ or ‘Absolute Outdoors ®
’. Ocean survival suits are value for money and affordable when one compares a Mustang survival suit or an Imperial survival suit to a regular marine windbreaker or parker. A survival suit is designed to not keep water out rather to keep the heat in, not like a dry suit that are better at keeping water out. They are also intended to be worn over clothing and be able to be donned within minutes. Like any survival or emergency equipment it is prudent to practice and get familiar with the products and what to expect in a controlled environment prior to figuring out when all hell breaks loose.
In addition to carrying survival suits on your vessel, other safety equipment like Epirbs are fairly standard equipment. With electronics becoming smaller and smaller, more reliable we have a large selection of small electronic devises that we can beckon help with. Some of these devices are small and can easily fit in one’s pocket or even be worn on the wrist like a wristwatch. These handy devices can send signals to satellites, display positions on nearby chart plotters or even activate an alarm on a nearby cell phone.
Safety Lights and Strobes
As with epirbs and personal locators there is a large selection of personal lights and strobes
available that not only make it easier to locate someone in the dark but surprisingly in daylight as well. With newer LED technology these units are smaller, brighter and stay illuminated for much longer durations. Some of the newer strobes are replacing the flare and being able to have the equivalent of a distress flare pinned to one’s vest does not sound like such a bad idea.
Marine Rescue Supplies
One might ask what are marine rescue supplies
? Well, these supplies are intended to help retrieve the person from the water and provide additional comfort directly afterward. A person in the water, in a survival suit or even just with a PFD will have absorbed a lot of water and will be heavier and awkward to move around. Even if the victim can assist it will be with some effort. So, items such as throw lines
, man overboard poles etc. come in verry handy.