HC Deb 14 October 1942 vol 383 cc1636-7W
Major Profumo

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is satisfied that the life-jacket at present in service in the Royal Navy is as efficient as the self-inflating type issued to members of the Royal Air Force on flights over the sea; and whether he will consider having the life-jacket brightly coloured to make it easier to discern men in the water, thereby facilitating the saving of lives?

Mr. George Hall

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative, but the conditions under which life-belts are used in the Navy are so different from those under which life jackets are used in the Royal Air Force, that any accurate comparison of relative efficiency is very difficult. For instance, any life-saving device for naval personnel must be capable of being worn continuously at action stations in dangerous waters without impediment to the wearers' duties. The naval life-belt is considered to be quite satisfactory for its purpose. As regards the second part of the Question, the naval life-belt is worn below the armpits and its colour would not assist in attracting attention from surface rescue craft to men in the water.