Immersion Suits - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree9Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-08-2012
JulieMor's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 853
Thanks: 47
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 3
JulieMor is on a distinguished road
Immersion Suits

During the special on the Bounty (Weather Channel) there was a scene where one of the crew had just come out of the chopper and was walking on the tarmac, still in an immersion suit, with two people helping him (or her) walk. It's kind of hard to see in the picture below, but the feet of the suit were blown up like balloons, filled with water. Then you hear a crew member say they had to cut the feet off his suit to let all the water out.

I can only imagine how debilitating it had to be for anyone wearing their immersion suit with it filled with water. Everyone who survived had to jump from the life raft into the water then, with the help of the rescue swimmer, swim over to the basket to be lifted to the chopper. (Only one survivor never made it to a life raft.) How could you move with gallons of water in the feet of your immersion suit? It seems the suit would be more apt to drown you than save your life.

I've never worn an immersion suit but after seeing that I think I'd rather be in a wet suit if I know the ship is going down.

MarkofSeaLife likes this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 12-08-2012
smurphny's Avatar
Over Hill Sailing Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Posts: 2,781
Thanks: 54
Thanked 59 Times in 57 Posts
Rep Power: 6
smurphny is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

I keep a heavy 1/4" wetsuit in my ditch bag as well as a dry suit top and fleece or wool clothes.
__________________
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 12-08-2012
Sal Paradise's Avatar
Captain Obvious
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 722
Thanks: 13
Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 2
Sal Paradise is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

Julie,
interesting point - they don't look easy to swim in, that's for sure.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 12-08-2012
travlineasy's Avatar
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,269
Thanks: 3
Thanked 56 Times in 46 Posts
Rep Power: 4
travlineasy will become famous soon enough
Re: Immersion Suits

They're not easy to swim in, however, they are essentially nothing more than a heavy-duty wet suit that is a one-size-fits-all design. Standard wet suits are form fitting, thereby allowing very little water to enter the suit. The person's body heat warms the water within the suit, and the insulating quality of the foam neoprene rubber maintains the inside water temperature. Eventually, the inside temperature will slowly begin to fall, thus limiting the overall survival time. This, of course, depends upon the outside water temperature.

Cheers,

Gary
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 12-08-2012
Zanshin's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,165
Thanks: 0
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Zanshin is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

They are indeed hard to swim in. When used correctly, very little water makes it past the head covering/neck seal, even in disturbed seas. I've had one on (in training), gone under the water several times and swam around to a liferaft and not that much water was in the suit later - but if one were to open the top and not wear the hood quite a bit of water could collect.
chef2sail likes this.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 12-08-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Deer Harbor, Washington
Posts: 211
Thanks: 0
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Rep Power: 6
mitchbrown is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

I've worn them before. One things for sure, once you put the suit on, your not going to be doing anything else. The hand are thick mitten style so picking anything up and using it is impossible ( like a hand held VHF). I doubt you could even activate an EPIRB.
HDChopper likes this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 12-08-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Milton, DE
Posts: 593
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Flybyknight is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

Water gets in when you bob to the top after a dive.
I have found that wearing a belt prevents that.
Dick
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 12-08-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 644
Thanks: 4
Thanked 48 Times in 44 Posts
Rep Power: 9
knuterikt is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
I can only imagine how debilitating it had to be for anyone wearing their immersion suit with it filled with water.
I've never worn an immersion suit but after seeing that I think I'd rather be in a wet suit if I know the ship is going down.

I have used this type of survival suit (immersion suit), in training only.

The suit will never drag you down even filled with water as the suit is made of closed cell foam so it will also be flotation device.
You can get water inside if you get hole in it or the suit is the wrong size.

I don't think that water inside the suit would be so debilitating in the water, but on dry land yes.

If worn properly (and correct size) it is watertight and far better in cold water than any wet suit.

During my training we had to let out air from suit to reduce the buoyancy of the suit. You do this to make it easier to move and be able to get under water if you are trapped inside the boat or wreckage.

The procedure used to let out air is to stand (float) vertically and open up a little bit at the neck to let the water press the air out.

The best way to swim in this type of suit is on the back.
chef2sail and HDChopper like this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 12-08-2012
MarkofSeaLife's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,118
Thanks: 26
Thanked 51 Times in 47 Posts
Rep Power: 4
MarkofSeaLife is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

I saw an immersion suit in the sailors exchange the other day for $200 I thought it looked huge and no way would it be easy to swim or get into a life raft.

Also working inside the liferaft would be difficult. Eg if it tips and you need to invert it, get the water out etc.

I have a wet suit in the grab bad, only a shorty as I am in the tropics.

It also depends on where you are. Cold water sailing maybe an immersion suit is important. In the tropics not. And a full wetsuit may be too hot in the tropics.

One of the good things about a wetsuit is they will perfected wet skin from bumps, cuts etc.
__________________
Sea Life
Notes on a Circumnavigation:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 12-08-2012
downeast450's Avatar
Tundra Down
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seal Harbor, Maine
Posts: 1,228
Thanks: 25
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 7
downeast450 is on a distinguished road
Re: Immersion Suits

They are not speedos for sure but I would much rather be in one than in my 1/4" wetsuit. We have two on the boat. I am not sure how that sorts out if there are a couple of passengers along.

When I was an instructor at the Marine Trades Center in Eastport, Maine we trained our fisheries students in their use. Jumping into the Gulf of Maine in February is almost fun in training at least. You do float high and maneuverability is not good. Getting to and into a life raft is a challenge without help. They do require practice if you are going to rely on them. Donned properly there will be very little water.

Our introduction to them was done in street clothes, with a stopwatch at the end of the pier at the MTC. There were times when I didn't need to change into dry clothes after jumping in and making it to the life raft.

We do not have a life raft on our boat. Our cruising is coastal and I feel we can expect help well within the time they can protect us from the cold.

Down
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Float suits PaulinVictoria Gear & Maintenance 24 01-11-2011 11:06 PM
Survival Suits and Rafts: Do you have it? artbyjody Gear & Maintenance 19 11-29-2008 03:45 PM
I need help in finding a boat that suits my need Swiftyatan Boat Review and Purchase Forum 21 02-25-2008 12:16 PM
Dry suits for sailing? wildcard Gear & Maintenance 14 06-10-2007 05:06 AM
foul weather gear/flotation suits argonaut7 General Discussion (sailing related) 1 04-28-2005 07:03 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:14 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.