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:
- 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.
- We only use materials available in an average hardware store. In this case it is (at the moment):
- Emergency mylar blanket.
- Bubble wrap foil (big bubbles, diameter 3 cm), 120 cm x 5 m.
- Duct tape
- Painter’s jumpsuit (oversized), possibly hooded.
- Wellies (oversized).
- Warm wool or synthetic fleece all-body underwear, including balaclava.
- Stretch foil (optional).
- 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.
- At the same time we prepare version for toddlers (which is actually simpler).
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.