Migrant crisis: Turkey police seize fake life jackets [BBC]


Migrant crisis: Turkey police seize fake life jackets

Police in Turkey say they have confiscated more than 1,000 fake life jackets made for migrants wanting to cross the Aegean Sea to Greece.

Officers raided a workshop in the port of Izmir, where they say they found life jackets stuffed with packaging rather than buoyancy aids.

The four workers making the jackets included two young Syrian girls.

On Tuesday, the bodies of 34 migrants were found along Turkey’s coast. Many were wearing life jackets.

Several children were among the dead.

Read more at: bbc.com/news/world-europe-35241813

Bizarre story, it is summed up that in the past few days, sadly, a number of migrants drowned going to Greece.

What is ironic is that it seems this shop making the “fake life jackets” employed refugees? Who knows who the owner is? They should be fully prosecuted.


I think the complaint is they’re are not buying EU certified life jackets that cost over 150 USD. In a pinch, I’d spend $15 for a vest stuffed with Styrofoam as a make do flotation device. The article didn’t claim the jackets caused the deaths, vs exposure or hypothermia.

The only alternative is to start providing them with free certified life vests.


I think you have it right. There are a lot of materials that will provide flotation that don’t have government certification. Also, if the fake life jackets hadn’t worked as flotation devices, the bodies would not have been found; they would still be at the bottom of the Aegean.


Not to mention, an approved life jacket won’t save you from exposure to cold, anyhow.

Approval is important, however, as an unapproved flotation device could float your body head-down!



Uh…bodies don’t sink to the bottom of the ocean unless they are weighted down. Haven’t you ever floated on water?


if people don’t know how to swim or tread water they panic. they weight the bodies to keep them down after they have drowned. I have never witnessed a drowning and I hope I never do so I am not exactly sure what the process the body goes through. it might sink and then rise after the body begins to bloat.


That is often what happens. Our breathing bodies float because our lungs are full of air, which is not available when dead. Hence the old superstition about bodies rising three times to the surface.



It’s only the breath in your lungs that keeps you afloat. A fully clothed swimmer will sink when they expel all the air in their lungs.


Try it. Go to a lake or the ocean and breath out. You will only sink a few feet but not to the bottom of a deep body of water. You’d go down a little further with lungs filled with water, but still not more than a few feet.

The human body has roughly the same buoyancy as water. They don’t sink very far.


No; without air in our lungs we’d go down by the head. Muscle is about as dense as water; bone is far more dense.

A full exhale only half empties the lungs. Death collapses them. Being clothed further reduces buoyancy.



I was a lifegaurd, competitive swimmer, and have multiple diving certifications. I have more than passing knowledge.

If you expel your air in a pool, you will readily sink 12 ft to the bottom of the deep end (in a lake you would keep going). I recall once letting out my breath and sitting on the bottom, under the high dive. Note, you still have >50% of your lung capacity with air after a forced exhalation.

A dead person will have lost all their air (not 50%) from their lungs, so they will sink faster. Wearing most clothes and perhaps a backpack will add to the weight once thoroughly saturated. You won’t sink like a rock but you will sink.

If you knew about this you’d understand that any residual air provides less buoyancy the deeper you go. That’s why the deeper you dive, the more air you must add to your buoyancy vest, and you must purge it when returning to the surface.

dead bodies don’t float until after they are decomposing and their insides fill up with the buoyant byproduct - methane and CO2 gases.

Here’s one source if you don’t believe me
Why are bodies in the water always face down.


A lot of bodies from the Titanic had on life jackets; in some instances, their necks were broken from the force of impact into the water. Modern (approved) life jackets pad up around the neck to avoid that outcome.



Interesting factoid, was this in a book or something?


Saw it on TV some years back.


Not in my experience, I used to swim quite a bit, and sometimes if the pool was empty, I would just lie still (facing up on my back), on the surface of the water, it was very peaceful and relaxing to lay there and float like that, as long as I laid fairly still, I would stay afloat, breathing in and out had no effect on my level in the water.

Im not sure this would work with waves moving around and/or rough water.


When lying still, relatively little breath is needed, so the volume of the lungs stays almost the same. About half of the lung volume cannot be exhaled.

Breathing maximally would change your buoyancy.



I’ve done the same thing, it’s very relaxing in a quiet pool. When you do such you are not doing a full exhale. I think it’s called Tidal Breathing. You are playing with maybe the top 20% of your lung capacity. But kick out another 20+% of your air and you will sink.

Next time you are in the pool, try a full exhale, and be ready to sink :D.

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