Counterfeiters are putting seafarers lives at risk with fake Emergency Escape Breathing Devices which won’t go over a user’s head and with ‘automatic’ air release valves that don’t work, warns a US coast guard safety alert. Check the EEBDs on your vessel.
Models of the Unitor Uniscape 15H have been copied badly and have found their way aboard ships. This model is not permitted on US-flagged ships because it is not certified by the National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health.
How to identify the killer EEBDs
Authentic Unitor Uniscape 15H EEBDs are stored in a shiny PVC bag. Fakes have a dull, canvas-like bag.
Real (Top) and deadly (Bottom)
When seen from the front, zips on authentic EEBDs open open left to right and have a 2cm gap covered by a clear plastic tab with a button , the fakes open right to left and have no gap, although they do have a clear tab.
Authentic Uniscape 15H EEBD work, fakes do not, something you’re not likely to discover until too late.
Check your EEBDs against the above descriptions. If in doubt, immediately contact your emergency equipment vendors or the manufacturer for verification or replacement.
MAC would further warn: It is unlikely that this is the only brand and model of EEBD to be counterfeited so it would be wise to check the authenticity of such equipment on your vessel.