INFOGRAPHICS – Created by a Frenchman, the immersion suit has saved many lives at sea. Mandatory on board commercial, fishing and offshore racing vessels, it allows you to float for several hours while avoiding hypothermia.
Survival or immersion suits have saved many sailors. They were invented in the 1970s by Frenchman Daniel Rigolet. It was the sinking of the Maori freighter in 1971 on the Atlantic that upset him. Only one of its 39 crew members managed to survive thanks to the diving suit he was wearing that day, protecting him from hypothermia. Daniel Rigolet, who died last December 31, aged 92, then developed a loose and insulating garment that was easy to put on. On January 13, 1974, he tested it himself off La Hague in the middle of a storm. It drifted several kilometers before being recovered. Thus validating his invention.