Immersion Suit Adds 19+ Hours Survival Time


Diego Jacobson, CEO of White Glacier, a company that has released a range of immersion suits, claims that the new type of immersion suits will add at least 19 hours to the IMO stipulated six hours survival time requirement.


Image Credits: White Glacier

It is well known that hypothermia is a major cause of death at sea, resulting in about 800 casualties annually, most of which are reported as drownings.

SOLAS/LSA requires cold water immersion suits to meet numerous minimum requirements for safety and performance including:

  • No more than two-minute donning time;
  • Impact protection up to 4.5 meters;
  • Hypothermia protection up to six hours; and
  • Flame resistance up to two seconds.

Diego Jacobson says,

“The White Glacier suits have a three layered, non-neoprene construction.

  1. The innermost layer is a microfiber fabric that contains air to protect against the cold
  2. The next layer is a bubble-like film that provides waterproofing and
  3. The outer nylon layer is abrasion resistant and fire retardant.”

The basic suit, the Arctic 25, is flame resistant for four seconds and the more advanced suit, Fire and Ice, for 10, says Jacobson.

While wondering what could be the mandatory minimum requirements for an Immersion suit ?

We have condensed key items from the LSA/SOLAS for your easy reference.

The immersion suit shall be constructed with waterproof materials such that:

  • It can be unpacked and donned without assistance within 2 minutes and shall sustain burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped in fire for a period of 2 seconds.
  • It shall cover whole body with the exception of the face, hands shall also be covered unless permanently attached gloves are provided with arrangement to minimize free air in the legs of the suit.
  • Following a jump from a height of not less than 4.5 m into the water there should be no undue ingress of water into the suit.
  • An immersion suit which has buoyancy and designed to be worn without a life jacket shall be fitted with a light and whistle.
  • The life jacket shall be worn over the immersion suit (in case immersion suit worn with conjunction life jacket) and person wearing such an immersion suit shall be able to don a life jacket without assistance.
  • The person wearing immersion suit shall climb up and down a vertical ladder at least 5 m in length, shall perform normal duties and jump from a height of not less than 4.5 m into the water(without damaging or dislodging the immersion suit) swim a short distance and board the survival craft.

An immersion suit made of material which has no inherent insulation shall be:

  • marked with Instructions worn in conjunction with warm clothing.
  • If the immersion suit worn in conjunction with warm clothing and with a life jacket, the immersion suit shall provide sufficient thermal protection, following one jump by the wearer into the water from a height of 4.5 m for a period of 1hr in calm circulating water at a temperature of 5 C, the wearer body core temperature does not fall more than 2 C.
  • An immersion suit of material inherent insulation worn in conjunction with a life jacket shall provide the wearer with sufficient thermal insulation ,following one jump into the water from the height of 4.5 m and shall ensure the wearer body core temperature does not fall more than 2 C after a period of 6 hrs immersion in calm circulating water at a temperature of between 0 C and 2 C.
  • A person in fresh water wearing either an immersion suit or an immersion suit with a life jacket ,shall be able to turn from a face down to face up position not more than 5 seconds.

Disclaimer: All Regulations have been strictly referred and simplified to the best of our knowledge. Do refer for latest amendments, complementing our simplified version.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by MFAME.


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