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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Arrow Cold water imersion survival, Cold Water Boot Camp, and the 1-10-1 time factor

    M447 pointed me at the following resources, which are not only a good reminder to maintain safe practices when on the water, but also when near the water's edge.

    Knowing how cold water immersion will affect you can make the difference between surviving, and not surviving.

    Many of us live and ride in regions where the water is not warm, and in the shoulder seasons the water can be quite cold. Working around the dock, driving boats and skis to and from docks/ramps/storage, we may not think we need the wet suit or life jacket...

    This is a reminder that you can fall off your own dock, or the boat right beside the dock, and be in trouble the instant you hit that cold water.

    Cottage Life magazine has an insightful print article (The Big, Bad Chill), and this Video: Cold-water shock survival

    It was produced by Cold Water Boot Camp, which has their own excellent web site and set of video segments.

    There is also a DVD available.

    1-10-1 is a simple way to remember the first three phases of cold water immersion and the approximate time each phase takes.

    1 - Cold Shock. An initial deep and sudden Gasp followed by hyperventilation that can be as much as 600-1000% greater than normal breathing. You must keep your airway clear or run the risk of drowning. Cold Shock will pass in about 1 minute. During that time concentrate on avoiding panic and getting control of your breathing. Wearing a lifejacket during this phase is critically important to keep you afloat and breathing.

    10 - Cold Incapacitation. Over approximately the next 10 minutes you will lose the effective use of your fingers, arms and legs for any meaningful movement. Concentrate on self rescue initially, and if that isn’t possible, prepare to have a way to keep your airway clear to wait for self rescue. Swim failure will occur within these critical minutes and if you are in the water without a lifejacket, drowning will likely occur.

    1 - HYPOTHERMIA. Even in ice water it could take approximately 1 hour before becoming unconscious due to Hypothermia. If you understand the aspects of hypothermia, techniques of how to delay it, self rescue and calling for help, your chances of survival and rescue will be dramatically increased.

    From the web site;
    Lifesaving Society Facts

    In 2004, 410 people drowned in Canada,
    130 were boating.
    Cold Water
    60% drowned in water under 10 degrees C
    34% drowned in water between 10 – 20 degrees C
    Only 12% were properly wearing a lifejacket
    2% were improperly wearing a lifejacket
    43% were less than 2 metres from shore/safety *
    66% were less than 15 metres from shore/safety*
    *shore, boat, dock, etc.
    26% fell or were thrown overboard
    48% were in a boat that capsized or was swamped
    Last edited by K447; 11-30-2009 at 01:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Great info as always..

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