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#108418 - 10/11/07 11:23 PM Re: Navy Life Raft t...hypothermia [Re: teacher]
TomApple Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Suffolk, Va.
Originally Posted By: teacher
If hypothermia is a main concern, why not include either:

1. 25 heatsheets or emergency bivvy bags
2. 25 el cheapo mylar blankets (See if anyone makes a jumbo size)
3. 25 'contractor' size garbage bags


I was discussing this off-list with a member earlier today. We now put in 12 space type blankets. We were discussing the possibility of replacing them with a dozen extra large HeatSheets with the idea that two people could share them, thus sharing body heat too. Then add another bulkier blanket that had a thin layer of insulation to be used to help treat the worst hypothermia casualty. Something that would help them regenerate their own heat and not lose any more. We may be repackaging the desalinator, thus making space for the bulkier heatsheets and the insulated blanket.

Regards,

Tom

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#108419 - 10/12/07 12:17 AM Re: Navy Life Raft t...hypothermia [Re: TomApple]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Tom, I'm glad you had chosen the military PUR Survivor 35 desalination, just don't exclude that, it's one of the most critical elements besides signaling and hypothermia. I've been stranded out at sea without an Epirb (made that mistake only once) and if it wasn't for a rescue tube and a dive alert, I wouldn't be here. Even with the rescue tube deployed it was the dive alert that got there attention to the tube. Floating around in the sea for a while is definably no fun and I had a strobe as well and was wondering what I was going to do if the batteries went dead. Now with todays locator's, there are quicker rescues and they may not need solar cells but I always keep them in the event as batteries fail. If you do go with AA batteries, use the Eneloop's, they have the longest storage time.

The reason I mention solar is I even have a 12.5 KW generator in the back with a 1.5 W solar charger from Harbor Freight for $8 and every year I go and check to see if it will crank and it fires right up. It keeps the battery topped off so I'm not screwed in a hurricane. I then incorporated 20 watt solar cells in my BOB and it powers every piece of electronics I use and all the batteries. And here's a video link that explains why solar is almost as valuable as food and water in todays military.
Ok, I'll stop my rant and raven about solar now, I just wanted you to think putting a small panel on board if you plan on using any electronics or batteries on board. And you would only need to do that if a rescue exceeded 48 hours, if not then it's not needed. But things happen....... Anyway my 2 bit's. I'll shut up now.

Video
http://www.globalsolar.com/index.php?opt...id=114recharges

http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/military/armytents/index.htm




_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#108429 - 10/12/07 02:57 AM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: TomApple]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I wouldn't expect any upgrades in the knife.EBAY not withstanding, on hand supplies of the utility knife will keep them in stores until ; pilfered, lost, borrowed, broken,stolen. Nautical sheepsfoot blades are a cultural and maritime regulatory artifact of days when a Captain could stitch up slash wounds but not stab wounds. A pointed blade is usefull at sea and the risk of puncturing the raft no greater than with any number of other kit items. A refugee from warring Yugoslavia doomed herself and several people puncturing their liferaft with her treasured high heels. So keep a pointed blade regardless of model, just prohibit navy personel from wearing high heals. It wouldn't hurt if somebody could give even a cursory pass on a diamond during inspection. They can be miserably dull to start.Ditto the (In)famous TRACON fishing kit. I would suggest, again if simple man hours allow a visual inspection and retaping of the contents. Of the 7 unopened kits I acquired, 2 had visible rust on the inexpensive hooks FROM THE ASSEMBLER'S FINGERPRINTS STILL VISIBLE, and one a conglomerate and useless mess of rust and mildew. There is utterly no dedicated unit to grip or coil the fishing line. Every other kit seems to have a simple plastic sheet for this. The BLIZZARD BAGS are superior to mere space blankets. And while I was able to egress from mine in a deep end pool jump, a weak or injured crewman may not in the event of capsizing.The jackets or cellular blankets may be a viable option if unit cost and storage are acceptable. Liferafts have two temperatures; hot or cold.

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#108431 - 10/12/07 03:03 AM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 995
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
My experience with the chemical warmers is that they have a one season shelf life. Put some in a kit & expect to replace them next fall. It might help to store them in their own hard case & don't fold the packaging. Apparently moisture leaks through the package and the chemicals slowly go bad. If its soft, its still good. Hard ones have gone dead.

They are great for getting a couple when they may/will be used such as late fall hiking or ball games.

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#108434 - 10/12/07 03:32 AM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: TomApple]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Tom, first let me thank you for letting us toss this about. We haven't seen a thread this good in a while. Second, I've got friends and family in the Navy, so thank you.

I saw you were thinking about the 2-person Heatsheet, so there goes my first thought. Most of my other thoughts have been been addressed (LEDs, SAM splints), except for two.

How are the PLBs triggered? Manually once people are aboard, or automatically once the raft is deployed? For some of the smaller ships, I'd agree that one each port and starboard is sufficient, but for the larger vessels (carriers, the various amphibious ships) is it enough? Possibly one each fore and aft to each side for the big ships, just becuase of the numbers of rafts and the risk of them getting scattered. When we have lost troop ships and carrier, even if we have to go back 60 years, how badly scattered were the life rafts, this might not be a concern?

Also, how big are the current aircrew survival radios, and are they cost feasible? It might not be as much an issue as far as communicating with aircraft, but with other surface assets and particularly among this fleet of little orange rafts. For example, I know small ships only have a corpsman and even for the really big ships you still have a limited medical staff- raft-to-raft communication might be needed there. Or is it just a non-issue?

Personally, I'm not a fan of the knife in question, but it works. The odds of needing it are fairly low, so I don't see it as cost efficient at this time to replace them with new knives so long as they open, haven't rotted out and are reasonably sharp.

As for the idea of the MRE heaters, I'd say no. Last time I checked, they still released hydrogen gas when wet. I'm not sure that goes with the less HAZMAT requirement on equipment carried on the deck of a ship. smile
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#108436 - 10/12/07 03:35 AM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: TomApple]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 995
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Quote:
It's difficult to provide hands-on training with flares due to the expense and hazard.


Can't help with the hazard but on the expense side could you dispose of decommissioned stock by using it for training?

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#108458 - 10/12/07 12:26 PM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: ironraven]
TomApple Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 80
Loc: Suffolk, Va.
Originally Posted By: ironraven

How are the PLBs triggered? Manually once people are aboard, or automatically once the raft is deployed? For some of the smaller ships, I'd agree that one each port and starboard is sufficient, but for the larger vessels (carriers, the various amphibious ships) is it enough? Possibly one each fore and aft to each side for the big ships, just becuase of the numbers of rafts and the risk of them getting scattered. When we have lost troop ships and carrier, even if we have to go back 60 years, how badly scattered were the life rafts, this might not be a concern?


The PLBs we're looking at are manual activation. We do not want any possibility of an accidental activation while the raft is still aboard ship, thus broadcasting the ship's position to the world. Not good in a tactical situation. We also want the life raft survivors to be able to assess the situation and determine if the PLB's should even be activated. If there are already rescue folks in sight, then the PLB could complicate the rescue.

Some sailors will be wearing float coats which will have transmitters broadcasting man-overboard indicators (MOBI). So there would be other devices broadcasting signals as well.

We instruct the sailors to tie their life rafts together to create a more stable platform, to be more visible, and to help support any damaged life rafts. Most of the large population ships are changing to the Mark-8 50-person life raft, which is large and visible from quite a distance. It would take quite a storm to scatter them enough to make it difficult to find the other rafts from that side of the ship.

Regards,

Tom


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#108465 - 10/12/07 03:00 PM Re: Navy Life Raft t...hypothermia [Re: TomApple]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
Something that would help them regenerate their own heat and not lose any more.


Hypothermia is a downward spiral. Even mildly hypothermic victims are not capable of keeping themselves warm with just a insulated blanket. An additional heat input is required to reheat the hypothermia victim. This is going to probably be one of your main challanges in terms of survival equipment aboard a liferaft. A warm sugary drink (hot chocolate is best) and a set of dry clothes is required together with an insulated blanket or bivi bag which is large enough to accommadate 2 people - the hypothermia victim and the fit crew member who is helping to provide some additional warming.

Perhaps you could include in your survival package a specific hypothermia kit consisting of the following.

Blizzard Survival Tube.

Vaude Stormy Compact Hanging Stove with a Primus Aluminium Gas Cartridge.

Sigg Oval Bottle with neoprene bottle cover which allows the bottle to be used as a hot water bottle.

Smartube with Sigg Bottle adapter allows the hyperthermia victim to sip hot liquids whilst the sigg bottle warms the victim.

A pair of Neoprene Gloves.

Hot chocolate or hot soup sachets.

Dry clothes set. Vacuum packed Snugpak Softie top and bottoms.

All in a Ortlieb type Dry bag with grab handle (heavy duty).





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#108467 - 10/12/07 03:08 PM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: TomApple]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Not to be harsh but has anyone really tried to deploy these rafts in less than ideal conditions and to get, keep, them together for mutual support? A major problem with the General Belgrano case was the rafts were scattered by wind and waves as soon as they were inflated because they have no means of propulsion or attitude control. In a storm situation during a yacht race these units were not successful. Most were blown away, destroyed or capsized before they could be boarded. The crews that fared the best didn't try to use their rafts.

Made only worse by the simple fact that these units are virtually impossible to maneuver. If one was to be blown even slightly away from the others during deployment about the only way your going to get it reconnected to the group would be to use a throwing line or send over a swimmer with it. The two crews could then close the distance by sweating the line. Even this is profoundly limited as a hundred feet or so is the limits of a throwing line and an unprotected swimmer in cold water isn't going to go far. I also doubt any raft will have a line longer than a few hundred feet. Once outside a little less than twice that range, one line from each boat, nothing could be done.

Even if the ship was to be just a short distance cross-wind of land the sailors using these rafts would either have to swim for it and risk drowning by exhaustion or hypothermia or accept their fate of being blown away from relative safety.

Some number of civilian sailboaters have cited this lack of maneuverability as the main reason for not carrying a raft. Their plan is to use a dinghy or tender as their escape. What these alternatives lack in quick and fail-safe deployment and compact/lightweight storage is made up by the ability to maneuver. This ability is seen as a major advantage in that once deployed they have some ability to stay together and/or actively seek landfall or rescue.

At a recent visit to a harbor I noted that the British warships all had modern self-righting and maneuverable lifeboats of some sort in evidence. I don't know if these were in great enough numbers for the entire crew but it was interesting to see the differences between the US Navy with rows of life raft pods that leaves them as passive victims and the Brits, with their more practical naval traditions and nautical mindset, with boats that can be actively sailed out of danger and toward rescue.

I realize this is a bit outside of the central thrust of the topic, equipping existing rafts, but are you aware of any research in finding some answer better than these glorified kiddie floats? Perhaps a hybrid between a north sea lifeboat and a raft. Something that could be deployed without blowing away and that would give the sailors an active role on their fate without being excessively heavy, bulky or expensive.

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#108468 - 10/12/07 03:13 PM Re: GEAR: Navy Life Raft Survival Equipment [Re: Art_in_FL]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
I don't know if these were in great enough numbers for the entire crew


The Royal Navy has a 200 percent Liferaft capacity rather than 110 percent. But then again the Royal Navy does not have ships with over 5000 crew as in the large battlegroup aircraft carriers operated by the US Navy.





Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (10/12/07 03:15 PM)

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