Survival at Sea: The Effects of Protective Clothing and Survivor Location on Core and Skin Temperatures
COAST GUARD WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
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Different types of protective clothing for maritime personnel were compared in 3, simulated, survival environments immersion in cold, rough seas exposure to cold wind, spray and waves atop an overturned boat and exposure to cold air and waves in an open, one-man liferaft. The test garments were flight suit FS two-piece wet suit WS insulated, loose-fitting aviation AC and boatcrew BC coveralls uninsulated dry suit NI NI with a 5 cm tear in the shoulder seam NX. All garments were worn over cotton thermal underwear an additional layer of insulated, short-sleeve underwear was worn with NI and NX. 8 Coast Guard crewmen were the test subjects mean age 23 yrs mean ht. 175 cm mean wt. 72 kg mean body fat 11 . Significant differences between cooling rates in water and those on the boat or in the raft were found for all garments except NI and WS boat. The results demonstrate that survivors maintain higher skin temps. and slower cooling rates out of the water, even when exposed to continuous wind, spray and waves than when they remain immersed in rough seas. Insulated, intact-dry-suits provide better immersion protection than do either tight-fitting wet suits or loose-fitting coveralls leaky dry suits provide no better protection than do loose-fitting coveralls. The best survival environment is provided by the one-man liferaft. Linear cooling rates were used to estimate survival times in 6.1 C rough seas for personnel wearing each of the test garment-ensembles.
- Stress Physiology
- Protective Equipment