Why You Need an Immersion Suit

survive_raft-70-editImmersion Suits, Immersion Survival Suits and Abandonment Suits are part of the essential and often mandatory survival gear for those who travel on or over cold or hypothermic water.

If you need a new Survival Suit or immersion suit, you’ll be able to find at immersionsuits.info today.  As well as emergency suits, you’ll also find the workwear you need for you and your staff to do your jobs effectively, and to stay warm, dry and safe.

Search and rescue services including lifeboats and coastguards, merchant ships, workers Continue reading

Safety and Survival at Sea

High_tech_gumbyYour ability to survive at sea depends on a range of factors which make all the difference. You must absolutely know how to use safety equipment and where it is kept onboard. As well as this, you need to have the appropriate survival skills and, just as importantly, the ability to apply them in the event of an emergency.

Man Overboard

Someone falling overboard may initially appear to have a simple solution of just turning around, heading back and picking them up – the reality of the situation can be much more complex. Locating the casualty in the water, navigating toward them with your craft and finally getting them on board can all present their own problems that could see the situation quickly turn tragic.

By following procedures and ensuring all passengers/crew are wearing the correct safety equipment, you can ensure that in the event of someone going overboard, you are in the best possible position to prevent a tragedy.

  • Ensure all passengers and crew are wearing life vests at all times.
  • If someone is overboard, ensure one crew member’s job is solely that of a spotter. They should only be tasked with keeping a constant eye on the casualty in the water, pointing toward them and yelling their whereabouts.
  • Commence man overboard rescue turns and procedure. (Learn more about these marine safety turns to help locate any MOB).

If you fall overboard:

  • Remain calm, keep your legs and arms close together and restrict movement as much as possible to stop flushing cold water under your clothes.
  • Do all you can to conserve body heat. This starts with tightening all wrist, ankle, waist and neck fastenings on clothing.

In the event of a vessel capsizing, your best chance for survival is to get to a raft. Here are some things to consider once you are in one.

  • To increase the chances of your vessel being seen use any signalling devices or reflecting material to attract attention.
  • Locate the emergency radio and follow the operating instructions to use.


Dealing with Hypothermia

Even the slightest change in your temperature can affect your ability to survive during an emergency. Your body can cool down 25 times faster in cold water than in air so it’s extremely important to keep dry. During mild hypothermia (35°C – 36°C) a person will feel cold, experience violent shivering and slurred speech. Try to administer warm sweet drinks, food and warm with a bath or fire.

Water

Water alone will keep you alive for ten days or longer so you need to ensure your ration it well. No matter what happens, do not drink seawater, urine or alcohol.

  • When drinking water moisten your lips, tongue and throat before swallowing.
  • If you don’t have water don’t eat. You may become seasick and experience more dehydration.

It goes without saying that hopefully there will never be any need for putting any of these tips and advice into practice. Still, if you ever do find yourself in a precarious situation out on the open ocean, the right preparation, training and knowledge can help ensure you have the best fighting chance at surviving until rescue.

How to Make Sure You’ve Got the Right Survival Suit

helly-hansenIf you need a survival suit, then you can’t afford to get it wrong, as it really could be a matter of life and death.

Here’s what you need to consider if you’re buying a survival suit.

1. It’s essential that the survival suit you choose meets the relevant standards for your industry. You might need it to be flameproof for example, or keep you buoyant for a certain amount of time.

2. You’ll want to make sure that there is enough buoyancy to keep you floating. You won’t want to risk being submerged in an icy cold sea.

3. You’ll also need additional thermal properties to keep you warm in the water. Depending on what happened, you might be in the water for several hours. Staying warm will increase your chances of survival.

4. You’ll also want to look for useful features that will make staying alive and being visible easier. You’ll want a buddy line so that you can connect to others in the sea so that nobody gets lost, or dragged under. A lifting strap is useful for when you are finally rescued. An emergency light and reflective strips are useful so you can easily be identified and can communicate with others who are with you. Having an integrated safety harness can help your rescuers to winch you to safety.

5. You’ll need to make sure that the suit you choose has insulated gloves and booties and a hood to keep you warm, and to reduce the risks of frostbite and hypothermia.

6. Some survival suits are fitted with Emergency Re Breathing System – ERBS, which allows exhaled breath to be recycled so that you can still breathe under water if you are submerged for a short time. This could be a life saver if the sea is rough.

7. An emergency locator beacon is essential, so that you can be found. Some immersion suits will have one built in, but it’s a good idea to have a separate one too, as you don’t know how long you will be in the water for.

8. You’ll definitely want to ensure that your survival suit has the right certification and approval from relevant regulatory bodies. This will give you the peace of mind that your immersion suit will meet your needs, and that it will offer the protection you need should you need to use it

9. Even though you hope never to use it, you’ll want to make sure that you can put your survival suit on quickly and easily. You’ll want to practice so that it becomes almost second nature.

10. The performance and ease of use of your survival suit are much more important than cost. If your current survival suit doesn’t meet your needs, is damaged, or needs replacing, then you don’t have the right one, and you’ll need a new one. You can’t risk your life, or the life of your staff or colleagues with a damaged or worn out immersion suit.