Making of: DIY wetsuit for refugees. Mark 0

Thanks to idea of Tracy J. and to request of Rehana F., I started making the first prototype of a DIY wetsuit for the refugees, which is supposed to protect them from hypothermia and possibly from drowning.

The assumptions are:

  1. The main goal is to protect against hypothermia, because this is the main reason of drowning as well. It will be a bonus if we can also result in the safety west effect, turning the body head and face up in the water.
  2. We only use materials available in an average hardware store. In this case it is (at the moment):
    1. Emergency mylar blanket.
    2. Bubble wrap foil (big bubbles, diameter 3 cm), 120 cm x 5 m.
    3. Duct tape
    4. Painter’s jumpsuit (oversized), possibly hooded.
    5. Wellies (oversized).
    6. Warm wool or synthetic fleece all-body underwear, including balaclava.
    7. Stretch foil (optional).
  3. After the real sea tests (luckily I live 100 m from the beach of the Aegean in Thessaloniki), we shall prepare a visual documentation with the comment (in English), letting anybody make and use such equipment. The documentation will be put online for public amusement and benefit.
  4. At the same time we prepare version for toddlers (which is actually simpler).

Update:

Thanks to Natasha and Steve, we run a check on suppliers. And — at the level of cost equal to the material cost of our contraption, one can easily buy a wetsuit from Amazon, delivery to Turkey included. See: http://www.amazon.com/NeoSport-Wetsuits-Sports-Skins-Black/dp/B003554ETK/ref=sr_1_2?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1446821628&sr=1-2&keywords=wetsuit

So, doing the DIY wetsuit at the same cost (plus a lot of tweaking) is of no use. Thus, my recommendation, against all my instincts, is: go Amazon this time.

However, we keep working on the baby-bag. Stay tuned.

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