How to survive the North Sea

[intro]Helly Hansen recently took me on a trip to Bergen, Norway and dumped me in the North Sea.[/intro] Helly Hansen recently took me on a trip to B

Helly Hansen recently took me on a trip to Bergen, Norway and dumped me in the North Sea. I hadn't offended them by expressing my distaste for A-Ha or their football team's dogged efficiency – they merely wanted me to try out their life-saving, and very orange, survival suit.

Having donned the suit, I felt a little like I should be in a Tango advert. It forms a watertight seal around your entire body, and is buoyant so you don't even have to tread water. Its most helpful feature, though, is keeping you alive – while most people will perish from hypothermia in a wintry sea within a couple of hours, it will keep you going for several hours while you wait for a chopper.

In the meantime, you can make use of its many gadgets. Blow into a tube and an pouch will kindly inflate behind your head to stop your neck hurting. There's also a little whistle to call for help, and a hook for attaching yourself to fellow boat disaster victims.

Luckily for me, a Helly Hansen boat came and fished me out of the sea whale-style, as you can see above. If you fancy decking yourself out in your own suit and taking a dip in the Channel, they cost around £950 from www.hhworkwear.com.