Peel Ports Marine Team Designs Next Generation Pilot Jacket to Protect Against Cold Water Impact

A new lifejacket that will increase survival time in cold water has been jointly developed by one of the UK’s largest port operators and a specialist safety supplier. The personal flotation device has been in development for two years, filling a gap in the marine pilot market and could be rolled out to other workers in nautical positions.

Peel Ports Group – working in partnership with Mullion Survival Technology, a manufacturer of maritime security equipment – developed the jacket after undertaking an audit of similar products available on the market and concluding that existing jackets would not protect against the threat cold water shock.

After two years of research, prototype testing and consultation with end users, the pilot jacket is now rolling off the production line, with Liverpool Pilotage Services Limited (LPSL) receiving the first order and Peel Ports Group marine crews awaiting their jackets in the future. weeks. A selection of other major ports and offshore companies have also scored on Peel Ports’ initial order to test the jacket.

The launch of the new pilot jacket is part of a wider project led by the Peel Ports Group Marine team to review the end-to-end process for boarding and disembarking personnel to and from ships. As well as the design and production of a new pilot jacket, the project has led to the development of a brand new pilot ladder safety training course which is now recognized by other major ports, and the introduction of regular ‘wet’ safety drills. .

Nicole Read, Group Maritime Projects Manager at Peel Ports Group, said: “It has been fantastic to lead this innovative project, which represents an important step in improving safety standards for maritime pilots.

“The project was about listening to the needs of maritime pilots and providing them with solutions and technologies that mean that if they are faced with an incident, they know they are safe.

“We are very pleased to have developed a next-generation marine safety jacket, with three prototypes created over two years to perfect the final product.”

The jacket has many innovative features, including some inspired by the protective clothing Nicole Read encountered while climbing and mountain biking, such as a helmet-compatible hood and back protector. The device features an integrated 150N automatic lifejacket, AIS personal locator beacon and neoprene neck, waist and wrist seals to reduce the threat of cold water shock.

Gary Doyle, Group Harbor Master at Peel Ports Group, said: “I am delighted with the way this project has developed in conjunction with Mullion. The intention was to improve safety and manage the impact of cold water shock as much as possible. After many tries, it is nice to see that we have succeeded.

Tim Meakin, Regional Sales Manager for Mullion North, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Nicole Read on this exciting project. She has dedicated many hours, together with her industry partners, to help develop a product that we are confident will set new standards in maritime safety. His contribution is greatly appreciated.”