Somali gangs are not the only pirate hazard for seafarers, so is copy-cat counterfeit equipment like the fake emergency escape breathing apparatus featured in the latest alert of the Marine Safety Forum.
Says MSF: “WSS Safety service station in Stavanger, Norway received EEBD-sets for annual inspection from one its regular customers. The service engineer discovered that the bags and the EEBD-sets were fake copies of the Unitor/MSA type Uniscape 15H – and of the same type as previously discovered and informed.
IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT THESE FAKE SETS ARE TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE WHENEVER DISCOVERED – AND THE OWNERS ARE SERIOUSLY INFORMED. THESE FAKE COPIES DO NOT WORK AS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO, AND WILL CREATE AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION FOR THE USER WHEN IT IS NEEDED FOR ESCAPE.
• The mask hood is impossible to get over your head. This is the most serious identification;
The neck tightening rubber membrane is not flexible enough to be able to pass a normal head size, and it is sewed to the hood with one single seam – not welded as an original Unitor hood.
• The bag has similar print as the WSS original: “UNITOR UNISCAPE 15H” and “Safety by MSA” is printed on the frontside (together with 4 sketches of how to use.
• The bag material is different; Unitor: shiny PVC. Fake: Dull canvas-like material.
• The zipper is opened from right to left, which means that WSS evaluates the functionality of the automatic release mechanism to be doubtful. When the zipper is opened, it moves towards the cylinder valve – not away from it, pulling also the air release line.
• All sets that are discovered so far have a company label/service tag, with the following
UNIscan Marine Products & Services
Uniscan Middle East L.L.C.
Shed No.: 71, Al Jadaf Dry Docking Yard
P.O.Box 62487, Dubai, U.A.E.
Original Unitor EEBD:
Zipper has 2 cm opening on the teeth
Zipper closes from right to left
Zipper has no opening
Zipper closes from left to right. Air-release
cannot be activated automatically.