The Emergency Breathing System (EBS) is a survival device initially adopted by the military to enhance survival chances for personnel in ditched aircraft situations. Designed as a compact self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba), the EBS includes a small, pressurised cylinder with air, a first stage regulator, a pressure gauge, and a second-stage demand regulator.
To address the impracticality of a full-size scuba cylinder, the EBS is compact, providing roughly two minutes of air at the surface, with diminishing capacity at greater depths and increased breathing rates due to stress. The device is constructed to withstand impacts associated with emergency ditchings.
In helicopter ditching scenarios, where occupants may experience violent motions, water ingress, and potential hazards like jet fuel and hydraulic fluid, the EBS becomes crucial. It serves as a tool to manage panic, extend escape time, and assist personnel in navigating the challenges of an upside-down, disoriented, and sinking environment.