I am writing to you in regards to the Issue No.31 and specifically about the Lifejacket Design article. I am a mariner onboard a cruise ship. We have been supplied with additional lifejackets that compared to the old type are quite bulky and VERY tight around the neck. These are made by a major manufacturer.
I totally agree with the concerns raised by our fellow mariner: this kind of lifejacket is really tight around the neck to the point that during drills, crew members wearing it felt uncomfortable in them and experienced a feeling of suffocation. In addition to that it makes it quite difficult to perform basic safety related jobs i.e. preparing the lifeboats at embarkation deck, climbing up and down ladders and descending an MES chute.
Clearly these lifejackets passed the latest stringent tests required by SOLAS and have far better life saving capabilities. However they were not designed keeping in mind ease of wearing which is essential for those who work at sea.
We have drawn this to the attention of the manufacturer of this lifejacket.