3/22/2018: Marine Safety Alert 03-18 – Zipper adhesive failure impacting immersion suits

The Office of Investigation and Casualty Analysis issued Marine Safety Alert 03-18 to warn mariners to be on the lookout for possible adhesive failures on immersion suits.

During a recent inspection, U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control examiners discovered a significant flaw involving almost all of a vessel’s immersion suits. The examiners noted that the glue used to attach the main zipper to the body of the suit had failed. Failure of the suit at this location will prevent the suit from achieving a watertight seal. Such conditions present a serious risk to crewmembers in a survival situation. Due to the high failure rate discovered during the Coast Guard exam (35 out of 40 suits were defective), the Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel operators inspect their immersion suits for this potential unsafe condition. Do not wait to discover the problem during a real emergency. As a reminder, any replacement survival suits need to be approved by the vessel’s Flag State.

Photos of immersion suit showing failed adhesive

Distributed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, Washington, D.C. Questions may be sent to HQS-PF-fldr-CG-INV@uscg.mil.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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