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Vela invests in life saving suits

Vela International signs a deal with Viking Life Saving Equipment to adopt its state of the art immersion suit.

Viking Life Saving Equipment UAE has signed a deal to supply Vela International, Saudi Aramco’s operating subsidiary with over 1000 state of the art immersion suits. The deal comes ahead of the recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) announcement that all cargo vessels sailing into cold water — temperatures less than 20°C — must have one immersion suit per crew member from July 2006.

“We expect that with the new IMO regulation, the market for immersion suits will increase from 15,000 to 350,000,” said Kevin Momme, sales manager, Viking Lide Saving Equipment, UAE.

“Though there is still a year to go before the legislation takes effect, we are gearing up to meet the challenge for supply and servicing,” he added.

The suits, which are to be delivered in January 2006, can help keep a person alive and afloat in zero degree seawater for a minimum of six hours, and have an expected lifespan of 15-20 years.

Vela International, which operates a fleet of 21 very large crude oil carriers (VLCC) and six product vessels from its Dubai office, primarily carry Saudi crude to the USA.

“Vela’s industry leadership in safety and operations made the acquisition of Viking immersion suits well before the compliance deadline an easy decision,” said Talal Bakheet, technical manager, Marine Operations, Vela International.

“These suits meet Vela’s — and the industry’s exacting standards.”

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