Safety first, surviving the research no matter what the discipline.

Author:  Caroline Funk, SUNY University at Buffalo

At a certain point all of we researchers are on the water, even if our focus lies on what’s happening on the island landscapes. The Aleutians are an archipelago after all. Many of the researchers who work in the Aleutians are not from cold water Aleutian home regions and we need to be taught how to survive if the boat gets into trouble. Moments after boarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s M/V Tiglax, we learn to climb into the survival suits. It’s an awkward process. We are assured that it is even stranger when a boat is listing and rocking in a storm. I hope to never learn that for myself.

Dr. Brian Hoffman, an archaeologist from Hamline University in Minnesota, practices his survival suit up in the summer of 2009:

On a rare sunny day in Adak, Deckhand John of the USFWS M/V Tiglax  lectures on the form and function of the survival suit.

On a rare sunny day in Adak, Deckhand John of the USFWS M/V Tiglax lectures on the form and function of the survival suit.

Dr. Brian Hoffman prepares to climb in. Plastic bags on your feet makes it easier.

Dr. Brian Hoffman prepares to climb in. Plastic bags on your feet makes it easier.

Halfway there. It's a struggle on a calm sunny day.

Halfway there. It’s a struggle on a calm sunny day.

Suit4

Zipping with gumby paws.

Suit5

Safe, secure, hoping this never comes up as a necessary event.

suit6

 

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2 thoughts on “Safety first, surviving the research no matter what the discipline.

  1. Too bad the photographs don’t include a time stamp. My recollection is that I put that suit on in under 45 seconds. My svelte body slips into those Gumby suits like an anchovy down the gullet of a gull!

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