Effect of simulated interior lifeboat environments on occupant thermal responses

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TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of Ocean Technology
Volume8
Issue2
Pages7385; # of pages: 13
AbstractThe effects of simulated interior lifeboat environments on the thermoregulatory responses of participants wearing immersion suits were investigated. Two different environmental conditions were investigated: the interior air temperature and relative humidity levels found in a conventional lifeboat that relies on passive ventilation (“Condition 1”); and those proposed to be in a next generation lifeboat that will have an active ventilation system (“Condition 2”). Participants performed three hour tests in both Condition 1 and Condition 2. Condition 1 produced a significantly greater increase (P < 0.05) in the rate of sweat accumulation, rate of mean skin temperature and gastro-intestinal temperature increase, heart rate, and physiological strain index values compared to Condition 2. Condition 1 caused an amount of sweat accumulation sufficient to dampen the underclothing to a level that would cause a significant reduction in predicted survival time. Heart rate, gastro-intestinal temperature and physiological strain index values continued to rise during Condition 1 suggesting that the level of thermal stress was uncompensable by the thermoregulatory systems of the participants which is supported by the air temperature and relative humidity levels being at a critical environmental limit in which heat balance cannot be achieved. It is concluded that the interior environmental conditions of conventional lifeboats that rely on a passive ventilation system will result in a level of thermal stress that cannot be compensated for by people wearing immersion suits which will result in increasing levels of physiological strain.
Publication date
PublisherFisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationOcean, Coastal and River Engineering; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC numberOCRE-IR-2012-10
NPARC number21268589
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Record identifier12e09e1b-764a-4070-acfe-443d276a88dd
Record created2013-10-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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