Williams calls for review of immersion suit standards
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is calling on the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to re-evaluate the standards by which helicopter transportation immersion suits are approved for use.
His statement comes after a Cougar Helicopters aircraft plunged into the North Atlantic one week ago, killing 17 people on board.
All 18 people on the helicopter were wearing the immersion suits.
"I understand that they're using the most modern suit available, which is just two years old, which we are led to believe that is probably one of the best suits, if not the best suit that is available," Williams said at a news conference Thursday.
"However there is an issue of standards... the standard used for that suit is a 1999 standard."
Williams emphasized that he does not mean the suits were deficient, but that he is pointing put that the standards by which the technology is measured are 10 years old.
"The standard is not a modern standard so concern has been expressed with that standard being properly updated and being current," Williams said.
Williams said many questions have been raised in wake of the fatal crash, such the use of locator beacons on the suits, underwater breathing devices and the presence of coast guard and search and rescue assets in the province.