Bouyancy of soldiers with kit on

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by IndependentBoffin, Jun 24, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. I was reading this article in the news:

    4 soldiers drown in Afghanistan

    Does anyone know (and is at liberty to discuss) what the soldiers were likely to be wearing/carrying when their vehicle hit the water?

    With just that equipment on, how bouyant is the user?

    How quickly can a trained soldier ditch their equipment to become neutrally or positively bouyant?

    Are the soldiers more likely to have drowned because of the fast flowing, strong currents, because they were stuck/incapacitated in their vehicle or because they were encumbered by the gear they had on?

    4/4 dead from the same vehicle seems a bit too high a fatality rate to be just random circumstance (e.g. being knocked out on impact, wedged in or a weak swimmer) points to some consistent cause of death in their case (like encumbrance or a serious impact).

    If the Ridgback can't keep water out, does that mean it is not suitable for operation in a NBC environment? Or are the two not equivalent?

    What lessons can we learn from this incident? Is there a need for more bouyant equipment (this incident though tragic seems too one-off to consider adding more gadgetry to the soldier), better NVG, some kind of automatic pathfinding for vehicles at night or in poor visibility, etc..?

  2. Is there a need for more bouyant equipment (this incident though tragic seems too one-off to consider adding more gadgetry to the soldier

    my bold - not as one off as you think. There's been a few vehicles ditch/canal bound..

    but more on to the point - go for a swim in osprey and let us know if you can float!!
  3. Questions for the BOI, not for a random internet thread.
  4. I'd suggest it not talked about on here before it turns into a military source said in the papers.

    They would have been wearing Body Armour and Helmet Ammo and medical kit etc.

    Ridgeback is not designed for NBC in Afgahanistan there is no requirement for it?

    Also bearing in mind that there is a huge hole in the top for the Gun!!!!!

    How else do you think the water gets in.

    These unfortunate guys will have been in water upside down very quickly,

    Horrible Horrible situation lets leave it for a bit shall we?

    Bouyent equipment, Automatic path finding equipment what planet are you on?
  5. Kevlar has a density greater than water, but Dyneema/Spectra has one less than water. The ceramic plates will reduce bouyancy but AIUI these should be able to be removed quickly (although I imagine there are a lot of things on the soldier's mind at that time). Sealing the material in airtight bags will improve environmental resistance and bouyancy at the expense of making the armour less sweat-permeable.

    Is that hatch air/water tight and would it have been open/manned if the vehicle is driving around at night in the dark?

    Sorry if any disrespect for the dead men is misconstrued by my asking these questions so soon after the event :(

    Not Earth, as I am often told :D

    Bouyant equipment could possibly be accomplished quite easily, e.g. airtight medical kit becomes a floatation aid when immersed in water.

    Your satnav has automatic path finding capability. Rigging it to the drive systems of existing vehicles might be another issue, but that is solely an engineering problem that has already been solved in automated platforms.
  6. Soldiers in battle gear don't float but any views written here today are pure speculation until a board of inquiry completes an investigation. It is a tragedy of the highest order and the family and friends of these soldiers are in my thoughts today.
  7. Are the findings of the board of inquiry open to the public for viewing?
  8. Yeah, that will be good when someone else 'in the know' pulls it for a laugh.
  9. Top cover will be up and its also the best situational awarenes in that enviroment, no hatch cover to close as its a turret.

    Bouyant kit is great if it then pins you against the inside of the water filled vehicle.

    Yes but sat nav also has an inherent problem its accuracy varies?

    Lets leave it for a bit, having been in these vehicles I feel for these poor soles trying to get out of a water filled upside down vehicle in the dark, the weight of the water and the doors will have made egress near impossible
  10. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Is bouyancy the issue here or could they simply not escape the vehicle?
  11. There are plenty of sources for finding out the everage weight carried by soldiers these days but the above sums it up pretty well. It is pure speculation but it may not have made any difference anyway.

    How well you float/swim is irrelevant if trapped underwater in a vehicle not designed with that scenario in mind.

    Having said that, scientific endeavours to lighten soldiers equipment would certainly be welcomed for more reasons than just making it easier to swim in.
  12. Thats for the BOI to determine, not ARRSE.

  13. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I agree, I should have worded my reply better, I was inferring that the OP was trying to read to much into the situation. Considering his profession, this is not unsurpring though.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.