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Marine Immersion suit's requirements as per LSA code and SOLAS

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

LSA Code Chapter II

2.3 IMMERSION SUITS

2.3.1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR IMMERSION SUITS

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

  1. IMMERSION SUITS can be unpacked and donned without assistance within 2 min, taking into account any associated clothing, and a lifejacket if the immersion suit is to be worn in conjunction with a lifejacket;

  2. it will not sustain burning or continue melting after being totally enveloped in a fire for a period of 2 s;

  3. it will cover the whole body except for the face. Hands shall also be covered unless permanently attached gloves are provided;

  4. it is provided with arrangements to minimize or reduce free air in the legs of the suit; and

  5. following a jump from a height of not less than 4.5 m into the water there is no undue ingress of water into the suit.

2.3.1.2 An immersion suit that also complies with the requirements of section 2.2 may be classified as a lifejacket.

2.3.1.3 An immersion suit shall permit the person wearing it, and also wearing a lifejacket if the immersion suit is to be worn in conjunction with a lifejacket, to:

  1. climb up and down a vertical ladder at least 5 m in length;

  2. perform normal duties associated with abandonment;

  3. jump from a height of not less than 4.5 m into the water without damaging or dislodging the immersion suit, or being injured;

  4. swim a short distance through the water and board a survival craft.

(Refer to paragraph 3.1.3 of the Recommendation on Testing of Life-saving Appliances adopted by the Organization by resolution A.689(17) )

resolution A.689(17) immersion suit
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2.3.1.4 An immersion suit that has buoyancy and is designed to be worn without a lifejacket shall be fitted with a light complying with the requirements of paragraph 2.2.3 and the whistle prescribed by paragraph 2.2.1.8.

2.3.1.5 If the immersion suit is to be worn in conjunction with a lifejacket, the lifejacket shall be worn over the immersion suit. A person wearing such an immersion suit shall be able to don a lifejacket without assistance.

2.3.2 THERMAL PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR IMMERSION SUITS

2.3.2.1 An immersion suit made of a material that has no inherent insulation shall be:

  1. marked with instructions that it must be worn in conjunction with warm clothing; and

  2. so constructed that, when worn in conjunction with warm clothing, and with a lifejacket, if the immersion suit is to be worn with a lifejacket, the immersion suit continues to provide sufficient thermal protection, following one jump by the wearer into the water from a height of 4.5 m, to ensure that when it is worn for a period of 1 h in calm circulating water at a temperature of 5°C, the wearer's body core temperature does not fall more than 2°C.

2.3.2.2 An immersion suit made of material with inherent insulation, when worn either on its own or with a lifejacket, if the immersion suit is to be worn in conjunction with a lifejacket, shall provide the wearer with sufficient thermal insulation, following one jump into the water from a height of 4.5 in, to ensure that the wearer's body core temperature does not fall more than 2°C after a period of 6h immersion in calm circulating water at a temperature of between 0°C and 2°C.

2.3.3 BUOYANCY REQUIREMENTS

A person in freshwater wearing either an immersion suit or an immersion suit with a lifejacket shall turn from a face-down to a face-up position in not more than 5 sec.

 

SOLAS CH.3 Regulation 7

Personal life-saving appliances


3 Immersion suits and anti-exposure suits

An immersion suit, complying with the requirements of section 2.3 of the Code, or an anti-exposure suit complying with section 2.4 of the Code, of an appropriate size, shall be provided for every person assigned to crew the rescue boat or assigned to the marine evacuation system party. If the ship is constantly engaged in warm climates* where, in the opinion of the Administration thermal protection is unnecessary, this protective clothing need not be carried. (Refer to MSC/Circ.1046, Guidelines for the assessment of thermal protection.)

MSC Circ.1046 immersion suit
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SOLAS CH.3 Reg.32

FOR CARGO SHIPS

Personal life-saving appliances

3. Immersion suits

3.1 This paragraph applies to all cargo ships. However, with respect to cargo ships constructed before 1 July 2006, paragraphs 3.2 to 3.5 shall be complied with not later than the first safety equipment survey on or after 1 July 2006.


3.2 An immersion suit of an appropriate size complying with the requirements of section 2.3 of the Code shall be provided for every person on board the ship. However, for ships other than bulk carriers, as defined in regulation IX/1, these immersion suits need not be required if the ship is constantly engaged on voyages in warm climates∗ where, in the opinion of the Administration, immersion suits are unnecessary.


3.3 If a ship has any watch or work stations that are located remotely from the place or places where immersion suits are normally stowed including remotely located survival craft carried in accordance with regulation 31.1.4, additional immersion suits of appropriate size shall be provided at these locations for the number of persons normally on a watch or working at those locations at any time.


3.4 Immersion suits shall be so placed as to be readily accessible and their position shall be plainly indicated.


3.5 The Immersion suits required by this regulation may be used to comply with the requirements of regulation 7.3.


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