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Thread: Survival suits??

  1. #1

    Default Survival suits??

    hi all!....what i like about this site is i can pick your brains --Then, go snooping around!!..saves a lot of time!...you guys have steared me in the right directions many times so here i go again!.....worse case senerio, i am overboard and i have my "suit" on!...what are my chances?....what do you guys use?....do i have 20 minutes or 4 hours??....i do not want to scimp on this so if you had the cash, and had time to put it on,,what would you get?....thnanks again larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  2. #2
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Your chances are better than without a suit, but to put a time frame on it would be naive at best as there are too many other factors. If I had the cash, I would have immersion suits for all aboard.

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    Your best bet is always the gumby suit. But any suit is better than nothing.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  4. #4
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have a gumby suit for each person on board. I would hate to have to decide who got the suit and who did not, especially since I as the capt of the vessel would feel responsible for their need in the first place.

    I had a cold water experience and don't think I could last more than 30 minutes unprotected, necessary gear in my boat.

    Steve
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    The thing I learned about survival suits is they do absolutely no good when they're on fire. Theres only 2 reasons why you would need to abandon your boat 1. its sinking or 2. its on fire. I now keep my suits outside in the bow void (bowpicker) if you have a conventional boat you could stow them on the bridge, roof or lazarette (how ever you spell it). I have 1 jumbo imperial 3 adult larges and a child suit. I would like to get the new style that are lighter and less cumbersome
    My wife had a garage sale and sold 2 of my better ones for some reason, along w/ my big chief and my.....

  6. #6

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    you guys are too good!..ask and you shall receive!!....ok, looks good!..will look into it!...funny, to me a "gumby" is new person on the job who gets all the crap jobs!!....thanks larry


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI0h_PgIGog

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  7. #7
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    The Mustang suits are nice because you can wear them while you are fishing and be pretty comfortable in most conditions.
    If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I carry one survival suit. I understand the reasoning of having one for everyone on board, but I figure that one is way better than none, since at least one person would be more functional to assist others.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I've spent time in the water in suits, experimentally in a Mustang suit, and in a full blown emergency in a Full Suit. Go Full Suit if you hope to last for long at all. Those Mustang suits, are really excellent and will get you through the shock of immersion until someone can get you back on board or something but they let so much water in they are not survival suits for a sinking situation.

    Still something is WAY better than nothing, so Mustang suits are pretty smart for your all around winter spring or fall boating,

    As far as Survival Suits, I spent 10 1/2 hours in a full immersion suit in November, it was blowin' NW 60, Very Cold, and I estimate the wave height to have been more than twenty feet high for the majority of that time. The suit definitely let water in and ended up full of water within an hour. The neck seal is too tough to keep water tight unless it is calm out. But, THOSE SUITS ARE WARM AND THEY FLOAT NICELY, the water in the suit warmed fairly quickly to my body temp. Eventually nearing eight hours I was in danger with my feet and hands but the fact I was in extreme seas, (actually geting rolled by the seas, I was riding in one of those open rafts, called bouyant apparatus by the USCG so was able to pull my body out of the water a bit) they definitely will not keep you dry but warm for a pretty long time. Maybe best of all is the flotation, you know you don't have to struggle but can relax and curl up to try to stay warm etc.
    The USCG survival specialist who later interviewed me on the experience said my situation was extraordinary for survival time in those seas and wind, but also that they routinely see people survive twenty hours in Alaskan waters if it is calm out and they can stay dry in the suit or are in a raft.

    Have one for EVERYONE, you don't want to make the choice of being the guy who can function, but then watches everyone else slowly die within 40 minutes (if they're really tough, ten if they're not). You'll last a lot longer and regret every minute of your former "Thriftiness" in gearing your boat
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  10. #10

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    I bought a Stearns survival suit for every member of our family. Picked them up at the Gear Shed in Homer as the had the cheapest prices at the time in South Central Alaska. An additional emergency safety item I bought was an ACR Bersonal Locator Beacon. This device will send out an emergency distress signal and GPS coordinates when activated: http://www.acrelectronics.com/product2.aspx?sku=2883 I want someone to know we have an emergency and where we are located if we have to enter the water.

    Another approach staying alive if you have to abandon ship could be this product: http://www.landfallnavigation.com/canopycompact.html. My neighbor bought one of these life rafts for his family instead of the survival suit solution. His reasoning was it would be quicker to deploy then getting a family of four, two small children, into survival suits. Plus everyone is together in the raft rather than drifting in the opern water. His reasoning makes sense to me especially if kids are in the group.

    Doug

  11. #11
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKExplore View Post
    I bought a Stearns survival suit for every member of our family. Picked them up at the Gear Shed in Homer as the had the cheapest prices at the time in South Central Alaska. An additional emergency safety item I bought was an ACR Bersonal Locator Beacon. This device will send out an emergency distress signal and GPS coordinates when activated: http://www.acrelectronics.com/product2.aspx?sku=2883 I want someone to know we have an emergency and where we are located if we have to enter the water.

    Another approach staying alive if you have to abandon ship could be this product: http://www.landfallnavigation.com/canopycompact.html. My neighbor bought one of these life rafts for his family instead of the survival suit solution. His reasoning was it would be quicker to deploy then getting a family of four, two small children, into survival suits. Plus everyone is together in the raft rather than drifting in the opern water. His reasoning makes sense to me especially if kids are in the group.

    Doug
    Just a couple things to consider, high winds are often the reason for the emergency, rafts will blow away like a feather in high winds and are easy to puncture. All your eggs in one basket so to speak.

    I also have a personal locator beacon that I keep on my PFD, I also update the website for it on each trip with vital info, like number of people, where we are based out of ect.... This information is made available to SAR when the beacon is acitivated.

    Steve
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  12. #12

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    Steve,

    Just a couple things to consider, high winds are often the reason for the emergency, rafts will blow away like a feather in high winds and are easy to puncture. All your eggs in one basket so to speak.
    Good point and I agree. The best solution might be the survival suits and the raft. I was really impressed out how small a size the raft packed down to and the small amount of space it would take up on the boat.

    Doug

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    kodaikrain,

    If you're willing to share I'd be interested to hear about your ordeal last november. If you already wrote it up on here I must have missed it. If you have a link handy I'd appreciate it.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  14. #14
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    AKBoater, it was a few years back and I haven't posted any story on it on the AOD Forums tho I am planning to do an abbreviated version for the AOD soon

    Here's a link to the story as sent to a website for Prophetic type Christians, written shortly afterward, and it's all true, my account of how it happened, a pretty extreme night, and I think a pretty good account of that survival off the coast of the AK Peninsula. I'll put something together for the secular readers for the sake of making it easier to understand, soon, but this is worth checking out I think.

    http://www.bobbyconner.org/Prophetic...iends.cfm?id=8

    My name is Alan Ryden by the way and it is called "Cape Providence Story" if the link doesn't get you right there, should work though
    You could also search out that story name online and find it somewhere

    A note to this thread, my full blown raft that self launches and self inflates was never seen by myself due to the high winds, a searching boat later that night did find my main raft and almost called off the search when they discovered it empty. Most boats do not have an auxiliary raft as I did and was the only one I could get into. I wouldn't have been expected to be alive outside of any raft even in a suit.

    So as Steve mentions, Get SUITS FIRST then a raft as secondary and prepare for WIND on the day something tough happens, it probably won't be flat calm. Everything goes crazy and you have to pull it all together in spite of that.

    One more Edit, That Epirb, and then strobe light on suit saved my life without a doubt, C-130 honing in on it saw my personal strobe light 7 miles from the Epirb signal they were headed for........
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  15. #15
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Not sure that last line made sense, the EPIRB, similar to a personal locator beacon is an Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon required on commercial boats and is mounted on the top of the house with a hydrostatic release,(releases at 3meters depth water pressure)

    On my way to retrieve the EPIRB to bring with me, I ran into the aux raft and decided that was a must, by the time I was in the raft I forgot about the EPIRB as I thought I had a personal beacon on my suit (it had snagged on something on the way out of the house and I lost it, not activated. (attach your personal beacon WELL)

    But that EPIRB on the top of the house released automatically, six or so hours after I abandoned ship when the boat finally sank far enough for the hydrostatic release to give up the EPIRB, it then began broadcasting my position, the CG in Kodiak picked it up and using the registration info, called my wife, found out it was not a false alarm and that I was in fact transiting that area, they launched a C-130 and were honing in on the signal which I had drifted away from in the wind.

    So was seven miles away from the position they would have been searching, after dark the pilot spotted my personal strobe light, a state of the art, ACR strobe attached to my chest and left the EPIRB signal to find me drifting in my little raft.

    Rest of the story on that link, OK AKBoater, and anyone else who reads it, "Ya gotta respond either here or by PM to tell me what you think of that story and if I can get that into a Forums story. It's 13 pages but it's pretty good survival info, hope you find it a good read and informative
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  16. #16
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    I carry an immersion for my self. Eprib, and portable vhf radio. I also have an emergency life raft with full survival gear. You never know when you will need it. Take a look at the givens life raft test. http://boattest.com/resources/view_n...px?NewsID=3796

  17. #17

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    thanks Alan for your response!! wow, that sounds like quite the ordeal!!!!....you have given my wife and i alot to think about, this is not something i want to just sluff off and cheap out on??....again, lots to think about thanks larry and linda

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  18. #18

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    kodiakrain, that is quite a story! if your looking for a short version for the forum maybe I should send you the sticker on my buddy's tool box. "PRAY LIKE IT'S UP TO HIM - WORK LIKE ITS UP TO YOU"

    It's good to see safety and preparedness is not being dismissed by the excitement of the 29 pilothouse build

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonsboat View Post
    kodiakrain, that is quite a story! if your looking for a short version for the forum maybe I should send you the sticker on my buddy's tool box. "PRAY LIKE IT'S UP TO HIM - WORK LIKE ITS UP TO YOU"
    YEAH, That'll do just about perfectly, where do I find one of those stickers?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Kodiakrain,

    Thanks for sharing your story. One of the more exciting and informative posts I have read. It goes to show how quickly things can go wrong, and hopfully will push me and others to stay in a protected cove when things get marginal. I take it that the ring that you are standing next to in your picture is the raft from this story?
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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