Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Suit Can Save Lives on Everything from Cruise Ships to Oil Rigs and Container Vessels

'Little Raft' can Float Vertically or Horizontally
Shipping News Feature
PUERTO RICO – WORLDWIDE – News comes from US based survival equipment supplier White Glacier of their latest product which now awaits approval from the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Facing the fact that Arctic waters can freeze a person to death in seconds the company took on the challenge of producing a life preserving suit which would defy the polar elements for a whole 24 hours or more, as opposed to the usual current maximum of 6 hours as the IMO prescribe. The new equipment is designed to preserve more lives whether a passenger on a cruise ship, crew on a container vessel or someone jumping from burning oil rig.

The Arctic 25 suit resists flames for 4 seconds, potentially vital in the case of an oil platform or tanker fire, packs down to the size of a small suitcase, will float freely both vertically and horizontally and can be donned completely in around a minute without outside assistance. Unlike most suits the Arctic 25 is not constructed from Neoprene but the maker’s own patented fabric which pushes the cost up to around £950.

The suit surpasses SOLAS, LSA, MSC 81 (70) and IMO regulations and is licensed and manufactured in America, certified by Argentine Prefecture, and awaiting certification from the United States Coast Guard, Transport Canada, and MED (EU). Under IMO regulations from 2017 all passenger ships must carry a suitably sized, thermally insulated suit or thermal aid for all aboard when travelling in polar waters (para 8.3.3.1.1). Additionally all vessels constructed after 1 January 2017 shall have to ensure exposed escape routes cannot hinder passage by persons in polar clothing (para 8.3.1.2).

Described by a spokesman as ‘little raft’ White Glacier said it developed the suit as it felt the IMO mandatory 6 hours thermal protection simply wasn’t enough for polar conditions. The design means that even if only partly dressed in it when entering the water, the wet suit will recover normal body temperature within 10 minutes and exceeds all current, and forecast, required IMO standards.