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Old 21 December 2006, 06:30   #1
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Helmets

Rib Helments

Ive been looking at the John's SUM and Gecko and Gath helmets. I dont think the SUM is for me (a bit too radical) so that leaves the admittedly more expensive Gecko or Gath options.

The question arises about spray getting past the visor, Ive seen the Gecko and know there is a possibility of water dribbling down the inside from the top. The Gath helmets visor looks (from the few pics Ive seen that the visor retracts into the helmet - does this stop spray ingress?

The other question is about neck spinal damage inflicted if you hit the water wearing a helmet. Please correct me but I would assume the Gecko helmet with its inflatable liner prevents water ingress stopping the head from being dragged / whipped on impact (is that why the RNLI use them???)

However has anyone looked at the Gath helmet from this point of view?

Pete
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Old 21 December 2006, 06:48   #2
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Pete,

Hi. I have the Gecko which I've used on and off for a few years now. I have never had a problem with water dribbling down from the top, inside. I have had a problem with one of my two helmets having a visor that doesn't like staying up and has a habit of flopping down which is annoying. Biggest problem though is the fact that I have the short visors fitted, this allows spray to soak your chin and neck. I am considering buying another helmet in the New Year and I'll make sure this one has the full length visor.
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Old 21 December 2006, 06:50   #3
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Thanks That was another question about long or short visors. Did you find a workaround for the flopping visor?
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Old 21 December 2006, 06:54   #4
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Yeh I make sure my passenger gets that one

Seriously though I have found also that if you don't service the helmets with a little bit of vaseline on the studs they corrode slightly making them hard to work with. I'm going to bring the helmets in today and give them there annual sevice. I think I should be able to sort the problem one quite easy with a pair of pliers.
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Old 22 December 2006, 14:59   #5
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RIB's & Helmets

Cant quote chapter and verse but Trials and Studies by the Institute of Naval Medicine are quite conclusive. They recommend that helmets are not worn in RIB's or vessels travelling at high speed. The scoop effect caused by the helmet as it hits the water could in their opinion cause significant spinal injury. However they do recognise that the helmet will protect the wearer from injury due to impact whilst they are in the boat.

Hope this is of some use !!!!!!!

Mike A
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Old 22 December 2006, 15:27   #6
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Depends on the type of helmet and how it fits. I would say a full face is far more prone to this - a well fitting open face would just have the visor ripped open/off.

The problem though is that facial injury is far more likely with an open face if you hit the console etc.

Maybe JK's alien masks are the ideal solution?
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Old 22 December 2006, 15:52   #7
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I've used the Gath's with the integral visor. No problem with spray ingress, and no problem with steaming up either - as the bottom of the visor is actually several inches from your nose and mouth.

The Gecko strap system is designed to break-away at a certain force - so that there is no chance of "bucketting" or the "scoop effect" as the helmet is simply ripped off your head.

Gath's have several sizes and are designed to be much closer fitting... I am unaware whether or not their strap is designed to break-away in the same way as the Gecko. However, because the volume of the helmet is a lot smaller, and the gaps for water ingress a lot narrower, the bucketting effect will be correspondingly reduced, also, they do have vent holes in the top, again reducing the potential scoop forces - although they are covered if the visor is retracted.

I think I'm gonna treat myself to the Gath Gedi for New Year.

WMM
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Old 22 December 2006, 15:58   #8
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There was a bad accident using a Gecko helmet because it WAS ripped away.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/4180590.stm
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Old 22 December 2006, 16:00   #9
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The Gath looks good and its a bit cheaper than the Gecko. However I don't think its the helmet for me. I wear a helmet primarily for when its persisting down and I think if I was out for any length of time with the Gath I would be fed up with water coming through the breather holes in the top of the helmet. I also have a habit of ducking when a ton of water comes over the top so would be exposing my bonce even more to getting wet. Personally I think the Gecko is the best, its just too expensive. Although I haven't broken one yet they don't seem as substantial as a motorbike helmet and I should imagine they could be cracked if roughly stored with heavy objects. Then I would be hacked off to find I'd broken one.
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Old 22 December 2006, 16:01   #10
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In a real world situation an Ocean Dynamics Rib capsized in heavy white water with 12 pax on board. There were no serious injuries which is prob down to the fact the pax were all sitting on the tubes so were thrown clear. Also they were wearing canoing style whitewater helmets which must have helped a lot.
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Old 22 December 2006, 16:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
There was a bad accident using a Gecko helmet because it WAS ripped away.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/4180590.stm
Its about time someone invented a decent helmet then.

What do racing boat drivers wear ?
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Old 22 December 2006, 16:23   #12
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It varies - mainly full face - often just motorbike types. A lot of the F1 powerboat drivers wear open helmets - full harness tends to stop you hitting anything!!!

The vast majority of people on RIBs only wear a helmet to keep out the rain and keep their ears warm - a leggy blonde does the same trick.....
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Old 22 December 2006, 19:09   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
There was a bad accident using a Gecko helmet because it WAS ripped away.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/4180590.stm
That's not really correct - it is believed that the helmet was too large for the victim in the accident. A better piece of reading can be found here: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...etin3-2005.pdf
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Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
the Gecko... they don't seem as substantial as a motorbike helmet and I should imagine they could be cracked if roughly stored with heavy objects.
You're right, they are certainly not as substantial as a motorcycle helmet, (however they are much lighter). As the accident that codprawn referred to involved direct contact of the spinning propellor, the helmet, and the victim's skull, the RYA had no option but to cover impact tests in their risk assessment. the RYA now use the motorcycle British Standard for impact protection (in respect of powerboat and RIB racing)... they had no choice really after the accident otherwise they could be found to be negligent in their duty of care if, god forbid, another similar accident ever happened. For day to day leisure use, you need to make up your own mind up about what you're protecting against - is it impact with objects inside the boat, or other more dangerous ones spinning at the transom... your own risk assessment!

Our Geckos have been stored in poor conditions without any damage (we do have the Gecko storage bags) as they do seem to flex quite a bit.
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Old 22 December 2006, 21:23   #14
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I wasn't aware that the prop had hit his head - didn't see it mentioned in the accident report - lucky he didn't die!!!
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Old 28 December 2006, 04:17   #15
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Originally Posted by Mikeallenuk View Post
Cant quote chapter and verse but Trials and Studies by the Institute of Naval Medicine are quite conclusive. They recommend that helmets are not worn in RIB's or vessels travelling at high speed. The scoop effect caused by the helmet as it hits the water could in their opinion cause significant spinal injury. However they do recognise that the helmet will protect the wearer from injury due to impact whilst they are in the boat.

Hope this is of some use !!!!!!!

Mike A

Im still confused ....

.... I understand the possible scoop effect but surley Gecko helmets have found a way around this otherwise why do the RNLI use them? (surley the RNLI have a greater risk of going overboard in the bad weather they go out in...)
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Old 28 December 2006, 04:48   #16
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Im still confused ....

.... I understand the possible scoop effect but surley Gecko helmets have found a way around this otherwise why do the RNLI use them? (surley the RNLI have a greater risk of going overboard in the bad weather they go out in...)
No chinstrap I think?

I removed the chinstrap from that pisspot I was wearing on the Folly cruise for that reason-its held on my head by a lace-up webbing part at the back.
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Old 28 December 2006, 04:54   #17
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No... the Geck helmets have two features designed to avoid breaking your neck (desirable!)
1. The helmet is "cut" high at the rear, so it sits above your neck not on it.
2. The chinstrap is designed to break away at a certain load (like a shear pin).
If you have questions about the design of these helmets you would be well advised to speak to Jeff Sacree at Gecko - he's one of the nicest and most approachable guys in the business.
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Old 28 December 2006, 05:14   #18
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You need to tailor the helmet choice to the risks anticipated, just like any item of PPE.

The advantage of the Gecko, especially for SAR crews, is that it is pretty good at most things, rather than being excellent at just one. For LB crews, it protects you against knocks, both from your own boat and casualty vessel, it is suitable for helo working applications (winching and downdraught) and has a degree of thermal retention as well. The risk of "bucketing" is there, but very slight due to (a) the high cut design, and (b) the many different mechanisms of entry when going into the water - the drag created by your lifejacket, drysuit or most likely bum is likely to slow you down before your helmet collects enough water to bucket.

However, its all horses for courses - DS Developments helmets are better for pure comms work and impact protection but are heavier, Geckos are a better all round helmet but should never be worn for swiftwater / inland flood applications, and Palm / whitewater types are best for flood or swiftwater work.

Hope this helps

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Old 28 December 2006, 11:52   #19
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And there's a third feature I forgot about...
3. The press studs which attach the visor are designed to break away as well. This is why you must keep them coated with vaseline or similar to avoid corrosion as advised in the helmet's instructions.
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Old 28 December 2006, 12:26   #20
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And there's a third feature I forgot about...
3. The press studs which attach the visor are designed to break away as well. This is why you must keep them coated with vaseline or similar to avoid corrosion as advised in the helmet's instructions.

I would say this is the MOST important - you will not get a "bucket" effect with a properly fitted open face helmet anyway - only from the visor. I would say any visor on an open face would be ripped off or open. I think the "bucket" effect only applies to full face.
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