Unveiling of prototype of garment to help save offshore workers

A prototype of a garment that could help save the lives of offshore workers in the event of an accident at sea has been unveiled.

The three-layer upper body garment produces heat when immersed in cold water. Picture: contributed.

Dundee-based Iron Ocean has worked with the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and Heriot-Watt University to develop the Centurion 3, an offshore survival system comprising a three-layer upper body garment that produces heat when immersed in cold water.

The three-layers are tear resistant, fire retardant and compression fit, making the Centurion 3 less bulky and restrictive compared to traditional suits.

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Simon Lamont, founder of Iron Ocean and former industry health and safety manager, said: “I came up with the initial concept of the Centurion 3 following the 2009 Super Puma crash.

“I realised something had to be done to protect workers from the harsh elements of the North Sea in the event of an offshore incident.

“With all of our prototype garments now complete, the next step for us is to introduce the Centurion 3 to market so it can begin saving lives offshore. There is also great potential to bring this innovative technology to other industries including leisure, military and maritime to improve safety in harsh environments.”

Mhairi Begg, OGIC project manager, added: “The development of the Centurion 3 is an excellent example of how an innovative idea can become a reality. Having worked with Iron Ocean from the start we saw the potential this project had for improving safety offshore and what a disruptive technology it will be when brought to market.

“Often when people think about innovations in oil and gas the focus is on engineering technology. However, this project shows just how much potential there is for innovations to take place across the whole industry including new materials to benefit health and safety.

“Translating the initial Iron Ocean concept from materials chemistry principles right through to prototype development has come with many scientific and technical challenges. It is, however, immensely satisfying to now see the garments, knowing that one day they could save lives.”