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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Question Survival suits found to be "lacking"?

    I am with the understanding that they do not "taylor-make" survival suits... pretty much the one-size-fits-all program, otherwise they would be way more expensive than they already are.

    Survival suits found wanting

    Canwest News Service November 18, 2009 1:14 AM

    Complaints about ill-fitting survival suits were common in Newfoundland's offshore oil industry, an inquiry set up after a helicopter crash last March that killed 17 people heard yesterday. A letter from the association that represents oil companies outlined some of the concerns.

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist


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    Is there more to this?
    There may not be much risk of long term exposure if you fall overboard on a river as opposed to open ocean but I've known enough guys that did to teach me that I don't want to have it happen to me.I've pulled enough people,live and otherwise out of the Mississippi to suit me,thank you.

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, thats all I found so far, but will be looking to see if I can find more.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Yeah................

    Those things certainly are not custom fitted. I lucked out in that my Gumby Suit fits quite well, but I've been on Rescue Calls (and Training) where folks just couldn't fit in a Suit (Too Big or Too Small) Suits seem to be just Small, Medium, and Large, and that's it...........
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Those things certainly are not custom fitted. I lucked out in that my Gumby Suit fits quite well, but I've been on Rescue Calls (and Training) where folks just couldn't fit in a Suit (Too Big or Too Small) Suits seem to be just Small, Medium, and Large, and that's it...........
    Not sure about the seas off NewfieJohn, but in the North sea, they do come S,M, L. As far as exposure, the North sea temp is usually between 36 and 38 F. Immersion without protection gives you about 3 to 5 minutes before hypothermia takes over,

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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post And............

    A key part of Survival is having enough time to get into the Suit........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    A key part of Survival is having enough time to get into the Suit........
    Thats true. I know off of Canada, Europe and in the Caspian and off the Kamchatka Penninsula, you have to wear them at all times when on deck or transitting by helicopter or boat. It takes about 3 mins to get into the dang things properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    A key part of Survival is having enough time to get into the Suit........
    One minute,as anyone who watched "Deadliest Catch" knows.Then you start to lose brain function and coordination enough to be able to work the zipper and seal the suit against cold and water.
    When I train new towboat deckhands,after "Always wear that God blanked lifevest when on the boat or barge",one of the first tips I give them is to always carry spare clothing in either their totebag or up in their vehicle.(kinda like keeping spare clothes at the firehouse jist in case)
    That way,should they fall overboard,they'll have dry clothes to change into and help warm up better.
    I've only seen one guy fall overboard in winter(35 degrees air temp) who survived with no problems.We got him out and back to the boat quickly because he fell right in front of us.(He's only one of three guys I've seen actually go in)
    He didn't know to have dry clothes but it was a good thing the boat he was working on that day still had its washer/dryer unit from its recent Corps of Engineers contract service.
    We took him and his clothes to the engine room,threw the clothes in the dryer,put mouse ears on him and left him to warm up while someone fixed some liquid gelatin to get some carbs into him quickly.
    We got him to the dock and an ambulance was waiting.Those were the days when if a guy fell overboard and wanted to go back to work,he could.
    Last year at another towboat outfit,a guy fell overboard and hit the side of the boat going down.
    He was unresponsive the whole time I was yelling at him to grab the ball end of the spike pole.The bosses showed up to help drag him back aboard but they left as soon as he refused to go to the hospital.Though he knew who he was,where he was and what happened,I figured him to be a V on the APVU,he had imprint marks on his skin from his life vest and couldn't move too well.
    I spent the remaining 2 hours of the shift convincing him that he needed to go.With the oncoming shift's help,I got him to my vehicle and drove him home where his wife overruled his desire and told me she'd follow me to the hospital.
    Good thing too.He'd swallowed a quart of Mississippi River water which jacked up his white blood cell count until he puked it up the second night and when he hit the side deck before going into the water,he'd dislocated every tendon in his shoulder and his heart was arrythmmic.
    The water and weather was warm(70+) so there was no real hypothermia risk but he spent two weeks in the hospital healing up and getting his heart shocked back into firing sequence.
    Man overboard in winter can be deadly but so can the situation in Springtime.

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks Doug................

    You've certainly reinforced several things that I firmly believe in........ I have found myself to be the cause of a few weird looks from folks as I'm scrambling into a suit in warm weather, but when the River is at flood stage, you just don't know what is in the water. A Gumby Suit isn't perfect, but it provides a level of protection that I'm comfortable with........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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