Things That You Need To Know About Immersion Suits

Immersion_Images_banner_1Ideally you would have both. If there was time to get into the dry suit, that would be the ticket. But if there wasn’t, then you’d have the immersion suit as back up. If you had to carry just one, after what we’ve seen, it is a close call. Although we are usually opinionated on subjects marine, in this case we just don’t have the experience to make a definite call. But for most, we’d say an immersion suit was a better compromise because of its ease of use, and substantially lower cost.

On the other hand, if you are going to have a dry suit aboard for maintenance, then carrying an immersion suits as well is a harder decision. More space, more maintenance, more gear to be familiar with … we’re just not sure what to say. For our purposes Dug thought a dry suit combined with a life jacket made sense.

One of the issues we have thought about in the past was how hard it could be to breath if the waves are breaking and spray is flying. We asked Dug about this and the answer was “not easy.” It depends on sea state, wind, and how you are floating. But in heavy weather unintentional ingestion of salt water as you are trying to breath can be a real problem. The British have developed a spray hood to be worn in the water to help with this situation. We’ll do some investigating on this and report our findings.

The Advantages of Using Immersion Suits

Now the hard part: What to carry? If you are going to cruise the cold country, we feel some form of protection for emergencies should be aboard. You are not going to last very long in a life raft without a means of staying warm and dry. Your odds of survival are orders of magnitude greater with this gear than without. Survival for 24 hours in Alaskan water (without a raft) is possible with an immersion suit. Without it, you might make it for two or three hours and possibly a lot less.

The immersion suit has the advantage of being quick to get into compared to the dry suit which is designed for diving. But you have to practice getting into the suit with regularity – your life could depend on this.

Immesion_Suits_banner_1We were pleasantly surprised at how much mobility we had on deck and in the water in the immersion suit. A lot more than we had imagined just by looking at photos. On the other hand, wearing the immersion suit for any length of time in a life raft (more on rafts shortly) seems like a pretty awful concept (unless there is no choice). Dug suggested pulling the suits around our waists while in the life raft, and putting them back on if we had to exit the life raft, or if the risk of raft capsize was present.

The dry suit is more comfortable, gives you a lot more mobility to work aboard fighting whatever the problem is, and seems easier to live with in the confines of a life raft. But it takes longer to get into. You have to put on your insulating thermals, then don the dry suit, and help is more likely going to be needed getting into the dry suit and zipped up.

Who Needs Waterproof Work Wear?

Waterproof workwear is essential in some professions. Not everyone enjoys the 9-5 office lifestyle. Some people prefer to be their own boss, or to feel the freedom of working outdoors. If you’re one of them, then you’ll know just how important the right waterproof workwear is, but if you work in an office, or a factory, then you may not.

Here are 5 job types that rely on waterproof workwear.

1. Outdoor workers

Outdoor workers can include all sorts of people who work outside. Just because it’s raining, it doesn’t mean that the work will stop. Consider all the building work, crane drivers, joiners and bricklayers who can’t let the weather stop them from working and getting the job done.

There are many sectors in many industries that involve working outdoors. From roofers and builders and window fitters who are involved in building and housing repairs, to those workers who fix roads, or train lines, empty bins, or who deliver materials to site.

Depending on the time of year, the weather can play a huge part in determining if a project gets finished on time and on budget. If days, weeks or months are lost because of rain, then the costs could spiral out of control, and make the project untenable. Being able to work in all conditions is vital for many workers.

2. Workers who are normally office based

Immersion_Suits_Images_1Some professions are office based, but have a significant element of outdoor work. These roles, such as surveyors, vets on call, insurance investigators, as well as health and safety or environmental inspectors, can’t be carried out entirely from the office. Workers need to visit places at different times of the day or night and in different weather, and so the rain can’t hamper the work that needs to be carried out.

3. Workers at sea

For those involved in the fishing industry, or who sail a boat for a living, waterproof workwear is of paramount importance. Once wet through, there is a danger of hypothermia on cold days, and even in the summer, the sea temperature will still be relatively cold. Waterproof Jackets and Trousers are the bare minimum, and Immersion Suits and Survival Suits are required in case there is a need to abandon the vessel.

4. Parks, forestry and agriculture workers

Those who are involved in maintaining parks, forestry and agriculture will be required to work outside no matter how harsh the conditions are. All workers such as park wardens and rangers, as well as farm workers require good quality waterproof workwear in order for them to carry out their jobs.

5. Rescue workers

Rescue workers include the usual police, ambulance and fire services but there are many more different rescue services that need to stay dry whilst working. Animal rescue officers, coastguards, breakdown vehicle services, mountain rescue workers, those who fix vital services such as water, gas and electricity are just some of the people who work in all conditions to ensure that the rest of the population can go about their daily lives.