Your Marine Sanitation Device Experts Help You Remember the Risks That Come With Colder WatersÂ
Â would like to share with you this week these important suggestions on how to survive cold water incidents.
After living in Florida for so many years, it is easy to forget the risks associated with colder waters, vividly demonstrated in a video on cold-water survival that I have included in this week’s blog post.Â
Former U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Mario Vittone has an excellent blog article that explores some of reasons why cold water changes everything in a drowning situation. Â
The first phase of immersion in cold water is called the cold shock response. It is an involuntary physiological response to cold water. This response can last from less than a half-minute to a couple minutes.Â
The second stage is cold incapacitation, which is just like it sounds. The water temperature prevents you from being able to swim, wave for help, grab a throw ring, etc.Â
The third phase of cold water immersion is hypothermia, in which the core body temperature drops below 95-degrees. Uncontrollable shivering and mental confusion set in, then comes unconsciousness and organ failure.Â
Maximize your chances of surviving by:
- Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD)
- Adopting a survival position
- Keeping clothing on
- Getting as much of body out of the water as possible
- Remaining still and in place UNLESS a floating object, another person, or the shore is nearby
- Keeping a positive mental outlook (a will to survive really does matter)
Your Marine Sanitation Device Specialists Have the Best Suggestions for Surviving These Difficult Situations
YourÂ marine sanitation device
Â professionals know that layering appropriate fabrics helps preserve body heat, also. Kayaker and freelance writer, Tim Sprinkle, has three rules for dressing for a potentially chilly day outdoors:
- No cotton. When wet it is worthless as an insulator and heavy.
- “Wick, warmth, and weather.” Wear a wicking fabric next to your skin, insulating layers of fleece or wool, then an outer layer made of windproof, watertight materials.
- No cotton; seriously.
Clothing made of modern watertight materials like nylon and Gore-Tex are good for keeping warmth in and cold water out. However, they require carefully selected underclothing since the garments may not have built-in insulation.
Wear a personal flotation device (PFD). For the greatest protection against hypothermia, insulate the critical regions of your body with specifically designed PFD.Â
Minnesota requires boaters to carry a Coast Guard-approved PFD for each person in the boat. Even though the law requires merely having a PFD in the boat, wearing it is recommended. Trying to put on a PFD after falling into cold water is almost impossible.
The more body area you keep out of the water, the better your chances for survival. The drown proofing technique of repeatedly lowering your head into the water and floating causes substantial heat loss, and is not recommended in cold water.Â
The Heat Escape Lessening Posture (H.E.L.P.) can be used only if you are wearing a personal flotation device. Hold your arms tightly against your sides and across your chest, pull your legs together and up toward your chest.Â
When you first fall into cold water you gasp (torso reflex). Next, your skin begins to cool, and your body constricts surface blood vessels to conserve heat for your vital organs. Blood pressure and heart rate increase.Â
Hypothermia sneaks up on you, so you probably aren’t the best judge of whether or not you are hypothermic.
Signs that a person is nearing a hypothermic state include shivering, poor coordination, and mental sluggishness.Â Since each individual reacts differently, the severity of hypothermia is best measured by taking a core temperature reading using a rectal thermometer. Oral measurements do not accurately measure changes in core temperature.
Â for more information from Raritan Engineering about marine sanitation devices or any of your marine supply needs.