When the the 229-foot trawler, Alaska Juris, sank in the Bering Sea this past July, all forty-six crew donned their immersion suits, boarded life rafts and were ultimately rescued and transported to Adak, Alaska.
There is a story making the rounds that the crew donned their suits as instructed, taking off their shoes before donning their suits. This left the crew barefoot in a remote Aleutian Island village and hundreds of miles from the nearest shoe store.
We haven't been able to verify this story, but at AMSEA we recommend that you don your immersion suit with your shoes on. If you want to ensure that your shoes slide into the legs of your suit easily, keep a pair of plastic shopping bags in the hood of your immersion suit. When donning your suit, slip a bag over each boot or shoe.
So keep your shoes on. You'll save time and your shoes will come in handy when you make it back to shore!