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Preparing for the worst

Jan 1, 2003

At first glance, the man pictured in the photo might not be the first person you'd choose to have as crew aboard your vessel - considering his apparent suicidal tendencies (death by suffocation and melted face) and interest in pyrotechnics. But we are told that the man, John Swann, CEO of Brookdale International Systems, Vancouver, British Columbia, is actually of sound body and mind and is seen here demonstrating the company's successful product.

EVAC-U8 is a portable emergency device that has widespread use in commercial applications, including aboard corporate jets, cruise ships, and oil rigs. It enables a user to breathe compressed air for up to 20 minutes from within a fireproof, Kapton hood.

"When I demonstrate EVAC-U8 at trade shows people think I'm going to melt my face off. But it's actually quite a safe experiment since the hood is flame-resistant," said Tony Smithbower, spokesman for the company. But the company cautions against trying this specific experiment at home: "Flame torch demonstrated under controlled conditions. Do not attempt or injury may result."