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maritime DC & PPE Information Center
personnel protection
Submarine MK-1 Vest Type Life Preserver (For submarine use)

The MK-1 vest life preserver automatically inflates, provides a minimum of 24 pounds of buoyancy, and is self-righting. The design keeps an unconscious wearer’s head face up and out of the water while awaiting rescue. The commercial version of the vest has a flap, secured by Velcro, covering the inflation assembly and oral inflation tube, and a Velcro patch on the shoulder for non-flight deck personnel to attach the distress marker light. The MK-1 vests are provided in seven colors to identify the personnel’s functions. The color designations are as follows:

  1. White - Phone talkers and medical corpsmen
  2. Red - Ordnance men
  3. Green - Catapult and arresting gear personnel
  4. Blue - Plane pusher
  5. Brown - Plane captains and mechanics
  6. Yellow - Flight deck officers and plane directors
  7. Purple - Fuel handlers

The MK-1 vest life preserver consists of a cloth cover, an inflatable bladder, and an inflation assembly. The bladder is removable from the cover for cleaning and replacement of the cover or bladder. The cloth cover is a sleeveless cardigan style vest. A compartment for the inflatable bladder is formed between the vest’s outer cover and lining. Two types of front closure are used: unidirectional snaps on older models and a zipper for newer models. See MK-1 Life Preserver Tip 004 for AEL info.

Image of Commercial MK-1 Vest Life Preserver
Commercial MK-1 Vest Life Preserver

For more information, see the Index.