||09-13-2012 04:00 AM
Umm, was the person they found dead or alive?
My husband and I call these immersion suits "gumbie suits" for all the obvious reasons. We don't have them, but only because we haven't sailed in cold enough waters. The winter waters off the US West Coast including California coast are cold enough (high 40's off WA, OR up to 55 F off SoCal) to worry about hypothermia if one falls overboard.
All the Alaskan fishermen have them and the smart ones practice putting them on quickly. If you get a chance to watch the reality TV show called "Deadliest Catch" which is about the crab fish boats in AK, you'll see people practicing putting them on quickly. You'll also see the sad, sad footage of USCG helicopters over top of dead people in the water in these survival suits. The time that a person can last in the cold water even with a immersion suit is typically minutes to hours, not days. And--no, really it doesn't look like you can do much of anything if you're in one of those suits.