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#999 Immersion Suits

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 3, 2011


When I was little, I used to watch the claymation Gumby Adventures on TV and I had a friend in elementary school that made a Gumby costume for Halloween. She couldn’t sit and had to waddle her way through trick-or-treating but I remember being impressed with her dedication (especially since I was a Hershey Kiss in grey sweats and a tin foil hat).

One of the first things done when you embark on a voyage is go through an Abandon Ship Drill during which you have to scramble into an Immersion, or “Gumby”, suit within a certain amount of time.  These waterproof dry suits protect the wearer from hypothermia and greatly improve survival times in cold water. 

 They are a bit of a trick to get on and involve some jumping around as you try to skootch down into the suit.  But as we laugh at ourselves looking a little ridiculous in the once-size-fits-all flotation onesies, it is nice to know that should the worst happen, Gumby’s got our backs.

Have an idea or a story you want to share? Email it to me at erin@sailtraining.org and I’ll add it to the blog with props to you.

Major credit to 1000 Awesome Things for the inspiration

Thanks Jen for the Immersion Suits idea!
Email message –

I sailed the Bounty from Duluth to Thunder Bay last August 2010 for 2 days on a passenger sail.  Made us work on board and that bow watch was one duty I was assigned, plus swabbing the deck.  I enjoyed it… I have a love for the tall ships…. and was very lucky to have had a dream come true to sail the HMS Bounty!!  I’d do it again in a heartbeat and if I won the lottery to afford the sail fees…..

 Rochelle- Thunder Bay, ON


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