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Old 04 December 2008, 13:47   #41
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Originally Posted by BassBoy View Post
There are also a number of people who are alive today because they were not wearing a seat belt in an RTA! How many I don't know, but I would bet it's less than were saved by wearing one.

There's a rather chilly ash in the garden that needs a hug. I'm off !

(educate,....... don't legislate ......sorry to quote the RYA ,but it's the right idea)

Peace and Love to you all
It is not the same at all. I agree not wearing a lifejacket when it is needed is stupid - but it MAY be different if you are wearing an immersion suit of some sort.
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Old 04 December 2008, 13:53   #42
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It doesn't matter in the slightest HOW their lifejackets were fitted - they had been in the water for 12 hours in one case. Far more important than incorrect fitting lifejackets was their total inability to summon help. Their bodies had been in the water for 36hrs before they were found!!!
mmm... thats got to be one of the most unusual arguments for not wearing a properly fitted life jacket - because you will die anyway! So if only one person fell overboard and it took an hour to find and recover them; or if the vessel that swamped them had initiated a search; or if they had had a mobile phone in their pocket (in a freezer bag, of course) then at least 2 of them would quite probably still have drowned.
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As to lifejackets and drysuits/floatation suits etc I do wonder if they can cause more problems than the worth of it. You don't see many surfers wearing lifejackets do you?
no but surfers are (1) normally close to shore (2) often in company (3) increasingly on beaches with lifeguards (4) usually reasonably young/healthy strong swimmers and the majority also don't go out in the dark or the freezing cold and still some of them drown!
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I agree an unconcious person won't be righted but a concious one MAY be better off without a lifejacket if ther is enough air in their suit.
a conscious person can always deflate a l/j if it is impeding him.
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Old 04 December 2008, 14:41   #43
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Think I'll stick with wearing a life jacket on the boat and wearing a seat belt in the car Law of averages and all that
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Old 04 December 2008, 15:39   #44
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Seeing how we're on to life jackets;
Auto or manual?
I have autos' here but bought some 150n manual's too if I'm just messaging about in a river. If I slip on my arse on the slip to the river and end up going for a swim I don't really want the lifejacket going off. And I know the big floor in this idea is that I could slip, smash my head and then go for a swim but the chances are slimmer on this happening. All about pro's and cons.
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Old 04 December 2008, 16:44   #45
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Drysuits and Life jackets

Loads of valuable stuff on this thread but to add my 2 penny’s worth. I think this is going to be a long reply

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I've only just started with RIB's this winter and keeping warm was my first concern. I got a XL drysuit so I could fit clothes underneath. I wear jeans, T-shirt, fleece easily and I'm like toast. Just make sure what ever your wearing doesn't have a high collar as this will tighten the neck seal, something I found out
Good advice but jeans are not the most effective item of clothing under your suit, also avoid cotton T short (common myth that it is good) as its absorbs mosisture and does not inuslate as well as many fabrics. If it is coming into contact with your skin go for synthetic fabric, such as a treated polyester or better still silk (not so macho I know). You will see what I mean in a few months when temeratures drop and those NNE polar winds kick in.

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A drysuit keeps you dry by the property of being well, waterproof. It keeps you warm by the virtue of insulation.
Drysuits are not famous for there insulation, as you said they keep you dry, it’s the layers of fleece/thermals underneath that provide the insulation. A drysuit without layers will be ineffective and does not effectibvy insulate you. In fact the pressure of water will compress the suit against your skin and allow heat to disperse from the body very rapidly. Drysuits are not warm in themselves

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Looks like I'll need to get myself a 275N then.
After getting into the drysuit I always crouch down on the floor and open the kneck seal. You wouldn't believe how much air comes out.
Cheers for that info gents
Good technique, if your suit has integral rubber socks or wellies you can take it a stage further by wading into the water from the slipway, keeping you hands and head above water level, slightly opening the neck and using water pressure to squeeze air out the top. As the suit is waterproof it will not cause a cool down if you only spend 30 secs in the water.

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Just going down the drysuit route myself...but have a 150N crewsaver automatic inflatable lifejacket. Can the 150N be converted to a 275N just by changing the inflation canister or is it more complex than that?
No the 275N effectively is nearly twice the size (and often made up of 2 independent lungs each with its own canister)

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I

The recent investigation into the tragedy of the Ouzo found that although all three of the yachtsmen who died were wearing lifejackets, 2 were found drowned with their heads submerged, suspended by the armpits from the waiststrap of their LJs which were not fitted properly. In the 3rd victim the LJ fitted better but was still found floating nearly vertical with his airway submerged.
Totally agree with the rest of your post and second all that you said. Taking the Ouzo tradgdy further, the key difference between the 2 guys who survived less than 2 hrs and the guy that survived 12 hrs was that he had a crotch starp. As the others fell unconscious due to hypothermia their mouths fell below the water line and they drowned, the 12 hrs guy’s mouth was supported above the waterline as his L/J had a crotch strap.

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Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
It doesn't matter in the slightest HOW their lifejackets were fitted - they had been in the water for 12 hours in one case. Far more important than incorrect fitting lifejackets was their total inability to summon help. Their bodies had been in the water for 36hrs before they were found!!!
As Polwatr said the point was survival time was improved although sadly not by long enough

As to lifejackets and drysuits/floatation suits etc I do wonder if they can cause more problems than the worth of it. You don't see many surfers wearing lifejackets do you?

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Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
I agree an unconcious person won't be righted but a concious one MAY be better off without a lifejacket if ther is enough air in their suit.
We may agree on politics and have common dislike of all things Gordon but I totally disagree with this statement. A lifejacket will dramatically increase your chances of survival if you land in the water, Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

Not mentioned so far are spray hoods. While a life jacket will save your life by turning you face up it causes a new problem. As your head and shoulders are above the water they will blow down wind and your feet will point upwind like a sea anchor- the effect is the life jacket that 2 minutes ago saves you life is now causing you to face straight into any oncoming wave. The gap between the two parts of the lung on a conventional horseshoe style jacket actually helps channel waves up and into your mouth. Not only is the life jacket essential and the crotch strap important but a spray hood is a life saver if you land in waves.

Most of this thread is course content on the RYA sea Survival Course, Instructors don’t just talk you through but show you and let you try on the different types (50, 100, 150 and 275 Newtons, crotch straps, pre inflated, foam filled, manual and auto, hammer action and salt tablet, spray hoods, auto light and manual lights).
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Old 04 December 2008, 17:01   #46
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There are so many variables when it comes to what equipment you should wear/ take with you. You should alway consider the conditions and plan for the worst case as far as I am concerened. If things go tits up, how long is it going to be before someone finds you?

Good foul weather gear will protect you from the elements out of the sea, but provide little or no benefit in the water. A membrane dry suit with sufficient layering underneath will provide good protection against cold shock and cold water immersion. I would always recommend a high bouyancy lifejacket if wearing a dry suit to counter act the potential of trapped air in the wrong areas of the suit, generally 275N. You want to increase freeboard and have the right angle of orientation in the water.

As for auto/ manual, in the marine environment, I would recommend auto, that way if you do have an unconcious subject, the jacket should self right and ensure the airway is clear. Different in the aviation environment where you should always have a manual inflation.

Wearing seat belt v's not?? My mate who is a postie lived because he was not wearing a seat belt. He was T-boned by another car on the drivers side of his van, not wearing a seat belt meant he was shunted across to the passenger seat escaping certain death. He does now sport a gear stick scar on his leg though! Sometimes lady luck is either with you or not...
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Old 04 December 2008, 18:48   #47
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Doug,just a thought. What do you think of the idea of wearing light ankle weights (not enough to give you negative bouyancy) with a drysuit and a 150n LJ?
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Old 04 December 2008, 18:53   #48
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Drysuits are not famous for there insulation, as you said they keep you dry, itís the layers of fleece/thermals underneath that provide the insulation.
My original response was poorly phrased. I did mean that the insulation worn between the suit and the skin is what keeps you warm.

Sorry for the confusion.

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Old 05 December 2008, 03:15   #49
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Doug,just a thought. What do you think of the idea of wearing light ankle weights (not enough to give you negative bouyancy) with a drysuit and a 150n LJ?
Best investing in some reflective tape to go round your ankles, thats a natural way to float.

Ankle weights are uncomfy anyway.
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Old 05 December 2008, 03:53   #50
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Best investing in some reflective tape to go round your ankles, thats a natural way to float. Ankle weights are uncomfy anyway.
interesting comment. I normally float head up without too much effort, although agree ankle weights are not needed.

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It will if you buy a decent thermal liner like Musto that wicks away any moisture. During the summer it looks as though my suit is leaking as the outside of the liner is damp but the inside is dry!
There comes a point when any material under the drysuit will become saturated and the termal protection from layers of trapped air no longer work. You will get cold, particularly during winter months. The wind chill across a drysuit thats constantly being covered in spray is the problem. During the summer you tend to be just soggy but warm so it's not as noticeable or a problem.

Doug mentioned no jeans or cotton t shirts, he is right they are not warm. Think mountaineers have a saying of "killer cotton" with a good reason, Codders will know more. I have dived in Jeans and t shirts under a drysuit, but it's during the summer when it doens't matter as at the end of the dive you are back on the surface able to warm up. But wouldn't dream of it during the winter or spring (water still very cold).

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