Cold water safety: 1-10-1
How long do you have once you fall into cold water before hypothermia sets in? - The surprising answer and more.
Dr Gordon Giesbrecht, a guest speaker in Anchorage today gave excellent tips on cold water immersion/safety. Many of his points are on this website, worth viewing as we look ahead to summer/fall boating:
Thanks for the reminder Leech. I saw this website a couple of years ago and after watching the videos again it really reinforces the realities of what happens when someone goes overboard in our cold water and how little time they have to live if not properly equipped AND how little time they have even when properly equipped.
Strategy for survival...
Knik Canoers & Kayakers, a local paddling club, does a wonderful thing - they plan to get wet. In dry suits, they dedicate time to getting into the water and getting out - practicing the team approach, using a throw bag, etc. On The Late Show with David Letterman (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/latesho...20040219.phtml) Giesbrecht demonstrated some of his cold water immersion findings by getting into a tank of ice water. Both illustrate the importance of knowing what to expect and preparing to deal with it.
Much about cold water immersion apparently takes people unaware - and what we don't know might often be lethal. The initial cold water shock apparently surprises people enough so that in that first minute, if we don't control the cold shock response, we risk gasping-drowning, or hyperventilation-fainting-drowning. A friend who took a kayak safety class years ago told me that experienced kayakers are sometimes found dead, inverted, with no evident attempt to remove their spray skirts. Giesbrecht suggests emphasis on controlling your breathing in that all-important first minute. After that, we may underestimate the amount of useful time we have to prepare for survival --
http://blog.remotemedical.com/wilder...le-review.html. Understanding a few things could make a critical diffference, i.e., thrashing around increases heat loss, contributing to exhaustion/drowning.
It's really about panic - controlling the impulse in order to avoid, as he said, making bad decisions leading to poor outcomes.