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Testing of helicopter transportation suits under extreme conditions

In cooperation with the Norwegian Coast Guard OilComp tested the helicopter survival suit HH-E352-4 (also called Halten Nordland suit) under realistic conditions in the sea off Vesterålen in February 2004, on behalf of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (former OLF). In up to 47 knot winds, 9-meter high waves and 3 degrees temperature in the water and the air, the test revealed whether it was possible to survive a stay in the sea under such conditions.

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The four test subjects showed that this was possible given correct use of the suit following the correct behavior in the cold rough sea. The subjects resided in the cold water for two hours without having water leakage into the suit, or significantly reduced core temperature. None of the subjects had problems with cold sea water flushing over their mouths or eyes in the rough sea since the immersion suit and especially the splash screen gave them adequate protection. Based on these tests OilComp has developed educational materials including movies and images that are used in a variety of courses and publications within the sea rescue field.

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