Immersion Suits Winter Alaska......How long SURVIVAL likely.

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  • Immersion Suits Winter Alaska......How long SURVIVAL likely.

    What is estimated life extension of wearing immersion suit in Alaska winter ocean water.....???

  • #2
    About 45 min. at 32.5 degrees. I sold all of mine. Since you have to lay down to put one on and I don't have enough deck space for one person, let alone five, I got rid of them to avoid any fights. My raft is tied on with slip knots and I can launch it is under a minute.

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    • #3
      Thanks........I was wondering if immersion suits would have likely saved those two men in the 20' LUND skiff, last week. But seems not likely. Thanks.

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      • #4
        They might of been able to get them on laying on the seats but my belief is that by the time they needed them it was too late.

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        • #5
          Why no but them on at the beginning of the trip home.......???

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          • #6
            A safer approach is to wear the immersion suit before launching. My experience with work policy while using an open zodiac in cold water was always wear the suit while in the boat. It's a bit hot when the weather's nice, but if gives you a fighting chance in colder water. Water approaching 32F and on paper it's tough to survive for long even with an immersion suit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
              Why no but them on at the beginning of the trip home.......???
              That would be a good idea but from what I understand the weather turned on the guys. PWS is nothing to screw around with. I look at multiple sources of conditions before I go out. Even then, I know that Orca Bay if it gets hit with an East/West wind is going to be fun. Winds from the North, Valdez Arm is going to pick up. I have food for a week on board if I have to hunker down. You always need a "Safe Place" out there on your map. Hard to second guess the guy's decisions. All of us make bad ones at times. Let me tell you about the second ex-wife......



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              • #8
                shouldnt have been out hunting deer this time of the year in a lund to begin with. if it was blowing out of whittier they would have seen that from a long ways off and could have waited it out some where and eat some of the deer they had. an immersion suit is not going to save ignorance. there are plenty of bays inbetween esther and whittier they could have snuck into and waited it out. I dont know the whole story but it seems like many of things could have been done instead of making a hopeful run back.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kwackkillncrew View Post
                  shouldnt have been out hunting deer this time of the year in a lund to begin with. if it was blowing out of whittier they would have seen that from a long ways off and could have waited it out some where and eat some of the deer they had. an immersion suit is not going to save ignorance. there are plenty of bays inbetween esther and whittier they could have snuck into and waited it out. I dont know the whole story but it seems like many of things could have been done instead of making a hopeful run back.
                  Roughly how much would a gutted seal weigh.

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                  • #10
                    No idea. Probably something you would have to ask a coastal native.

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                    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
                    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Daveinthebush View Post
                      They might of been able to get them on laying on the seats but my belief is that by the time they needed them it was too late.
                      You're supposed to put them on before you need them. Like when it starts getting ugly. You can get into one while in the water also.
                      Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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                      • #12
                        Seals are very heavy for their size. A gutted harbor seal can still weigh 150lbs. Regarding survival suits, I have hunted deer and sea otter in winter in a 19' Boston Whaler running 80 miles one way. I wore a Mustang suit, not a survival suit. You can't do anything in a real survival suit. The Mustang suit was for warmth while standing around, and would be your best alternative to a survival suit but water will rush in the cuffs, neck, zipper. It will hold keep you alive for a few hours but the game plan is to not move and attempt to warm up the water that gets into your suit and try not to flush it out with colder water.

                        Sobie2

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                        • #13
                          In a skiff that size in the middle of winter, if you decided to take all the risks, wearing a dry suit with warm gear underneath could have saved their lives in the water or allowed them to somehow get to shore, an immersion suit does not provide that same opportunity under those conditions.

                          These are the exact situations we should all second guess, we should learn from them and share the lessons learned so as to not repeat them and allow these needless deaths to go in vain.
                          I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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                          • #14
                            Sad story and condolences to the families of those lost. The ADN story says they went down near Trinity Pt. Some of the toughest water I've been in was between Trinity and the harbor coming back in from a deer hunt in my 38 footer in December. Cold and clear weather with the Whittier winds blowing but calm water coming across Port Wells. It wasn't until we got to Decision Pt that we saw trouble up ahead so easy to see how they could have thought it was good until in Passage Canal. I called into the harbor office for a report on wind conditions and they said it was only 14 kts there so we came on in, big mistake. We should have held up in Shotgun. By the time we made it to Trinity we were in 6-8 footers in clouds of frozen spray blown off the tops of the waves (smoke), something I never want to be in again. And the closer we got the worse it got. The wind was blowing from the north west and not in the harbor much, but must have been 40-50 outside. We finally made it in by radar (no GPS then) and pretty iced up. I can't imagine being in an open boat in something like we encountered. West winds in the winter aren't to be underestimated. Be safe out there friends!

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