White Glacier releases the Arctic 10+ immersion suit
White Glacier has raised the bar with an immersion suit that offers unparalleled protection and comfort …
Immersion suits are an integral part of a yacht's life-saving equipment, compulsory for all operations worldwide, and a matter of life or death in cold water. In the case of neoprene suits, which offer some thermal protection, the technology has changed little since the 1960s. But Diego Jacobson, CEO at White Glacier, and his team have developed a next-generation immersion suit that offers worldwide confidence in the safety of the equipment. Certified as an immersion suit with the United States Coast Guard, European Marine Equipment Directive, and Transport Canada and tested at the North Pole as a Polar Survival Suit to comply with the Polar Code.
The White Glacier Arctic 10+ has been designed with survivability in mind, not mere compliance with existing regulations. It exceeds all current requirements for buoyancy, warmth (CLO), fire resistance, jumping from a height into water, and comfort. As the global fleet of superyachts reaches further and further, many are migrating from traditional cruising grounds - with well-defined conditions and safety best practices - to more isolated and varied locations. Expecting that the standard immersion suits will offer optimum survivability is not arbitrarily true.
In the waters of the Antarctic, for example, temperatures can drop below zero degrees, kept liquid by the high salt content. Any exposure to water at these temperatures can be lethal. With the emergence of the polar code and its continued development, there is a broader recognition that more and more vessels will be operating in these regions. Jacobson feels that White Glacier are ahead of the curve for polar compliance, as he affirms; "The mandate as it stands is that there should be adequate thermal protection for all passengers and crew; it does not yet specify what suit or what a polar immersion suit will be, but that is coming."
The focus on the application for immersion suits justifiably jumps in mind to images of icecaps and freezing conditions. However, any water lower than around 25 degrees Celsius can put you at risk of hypothermia, especially when conditions are exacerbated by wind chill. Having one suit that can effectively manage temperature and exposure in all latitudes has apparent advantages.
The built-in splash tent effectively converts the Arctic 10+ into a personal life raft. The habitat creates a transparent barrier that protects against wind, rain and sea conditions while allowing a level of freedom and comfort that can deescalate the feeling of panic and exposure. This level of calm meant that during testing, the Arctic 10+ was described by users as 'being in a comfy sleeping bag on a waterbed'. If you are calm and relaxed, survivability is significantly increased.
But what about overheating in warm water? White Glacier has developed a comfortable and effective system for temperature regulation (one that doesn't involve breaking the neck seal to let in cold water, as you may remember from advanced survival courses). In a far more comfortable solution, the Arctic 10+ can be opened to allow airflow in a controlled manner; the user can even open the splash tent in temperate waters to refresh and regulate temperature.
The Arctic 10+ represents the next generation of safety for superyachts, with a future-proofed level of survivability and compliance. Developed by Jacobson and the team at White Glacier, with their 30+ years of military and civilian contracting experience, they can meet and exceed the required production capacity to fulfil any orders from the commercial and superyacht industries.
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