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British Parachutist Life Preserver 1973

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  1. #1

    Default British Parachutist Life Preserver 1973

    British Parachutist Life Preserver 1973British Parachutist Life Preserver 1973

  2. #2


    Very cool, not something I have seen before.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3


    The original cartridge inflators were changed to the Bead pull system in 1974 following the tragic deaths several part-time Paras that were dropped over the Kiel canal by mistake during a night time jump. My battalion were lucky they were dropped in the forest beside the canal or at least they thought they were until the heavy drop platforms were dropped on top of them!

  4. #4


    My mate was in 3 para, and he told me about that incident years ago, but he stated that the reason why they drowned was because paras used to have a habit of packing their berets in life preservers if they were doing a drop near water, the problem arose when the thing inflated and the beret stopped the neck area from fully inflating, thereby pushing their necks back underwater , he gave me one of these preservers made by Frankenstein and Sons

  5. #5


    Your mate is right, before they were updated they had a zipper, I really don't know why but some guys would place items in there such as pack of cigarette's, beret or can of corned beef to eat en-route. Mainly because of all the kit & cramped conditions made it impossible to get to any pockets. An obstruction at this point would only allow halve of the jacket to inflate. Another problem (which I never witnessed) was preservers prematurely inflating in the aircraft. Apparently some guys would unscrew the inflator canister a couple of turns to avoid this happening, screwing it back just before exit. Also before the incident PLP'S were kept and issued by the army company CQMS's. After the incident the RAF took responsibility for issue of them. PLP's were always issued if the flight path was within 3 miles of open water.
    I did carry out a deliberate water jump in daylight with no equipment and did not have to inflate the PLP. but on the Kiel Jump in the dark the canal to many guys it looked like a road so they never began water landing procedure. most entering the water with harness and weapon containers still attached! some guys managed the impossible and survived this situation. but I seem to remember about 10-13 did not.
    As I remember 2 Para jumped first followed by 4/10/15 TA battalions. there were many causes for the accident: the lights of a ship on the canal were mistaken for the DZ Alpha on the run in, the guy responsible for stopping shipping committed suicide days later. The RAF cocked up by confusing the heavy troop DZ for the Heavy drop DZ and dropped the heavy gear onto personnel resulting in fatalities.
    Last edited by Airborne warrior; 01-17-2014 at 09:28 PM.

  6. #6


    Sounded like a right cluster!! which in turn got some blokes killed..never good. Thanks for the info an interesting read..& a nice piece of kit too... Cheers Terry

  7. #7


    Good item and interesting stuff. Thanks for showing it.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  8. #8


    I'm in the process of restoring some of the current issue Nylon PLPs (Beaufort). What I need are the cones on the crotch strap that the side straps connect to and which the closure pin (visible in the first pic) attaches to.

    Just in case anyone knows of a source.

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