Originally Posted by paul323
... .. In the SF bay, the biggest cause of drowning is no life jacket (duh), but also "cold water shock" - a psychological reaction to the shock of falling overboard. Apparently over 50% who fall overboard will just sit there, no shouting, no waving....quietly succumbing...
Also my understanding is that older adults have a high chance of physical shock related to heart dysfunction from sudden immersion in cold water, regardless of how otherwise healthy they may be. Thus the auto-inflatable should always be part the kit of every well dressed older sailor (and not a bad idea for younger, who of course get more leeway on stupid...)