Gumbi Suits

Scott, Shawn, and I trying to make a Gumbi pose in our Gumbi Suits

During our safety training meeting aboard the Thomas G. Thompson, we were given all sorts of essential information. We went through the different alarm sounds for scenarios including man overboard, fire, and abandon ship. Directions on how to escape living quarters was demonstrated, phone numbers for important people/rooms around the ship were discussed. We were shown how to use an emergency breathing apparatus in case gases, smoke, or fumes are present. If those are ever in use, each apparatus has a life span of about thirty minutes, giving the person enough time to escape to an area with fresh air. My favorite safety device we were shown was the Exposure Suit a.k.a. The Gumbi Suit! This is a suit that is intended for survival in cold water; each suit is equipped with a flashlight and whistle and is fire retardant. They have non slip soles on the feet and a protective flap that covers most of the face. The most fun part about this safety meeting was having to try on the Gumbi Suit to make sure each one fit properly and that we knew how to get in and out of them. We were told that the easiest way to don these suits is to unroll it, take off your shoes, and sit down. Once in this position, slide your feet in until they are fully in the foot area; stand up and put one arm in. Then comes the trickier part where the hood has to go over your head, your other arm fits through the arm hole and then you have to somehow get the zipper up and put the flap over your face. After the adventure of trying to get the suits on, an even greater feat is getting it off! Trying to undue the flap from your face with massive lobster-type hands is way more difficult than it seems. We were not under a time constraint since the science party are considered passengers, but the crew has to be able to get in the suit in less than 60 seconds! The Gumbi Suit was definitely something that provided entertainment for a while aboard the ship and it is nice to know that we have them in case of a real emergency.

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