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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Great Video on cold water survival
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Thread: Great Video on cold water survival Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-11-2009 11:55 AM
lapworth Thanks David
I do alot of work on my boat and need to use a dinghy this season and I am one of those guys who never gets around to putting his vest on. Now I feel like I was scared straight.
12-11-2009 11:41 AM
midnightsailor
a cold water lesson

In college, I used to race 470 one design for the school's racing team. One very cold February day, we had a race against Kings Point, the course was off Kings Point and ran near to the Throgs Neck Bridge. Because of the cold and extremely blustery day, there was alot of debate as to whether or not to call off the race but competitive minds won over the more cautious and the race went on. Most of the other sailors had wetsuits but being a poor self supporting student I could not afford one at the time and to keep warm I was wearing a fairly heavy down parka. About half way through the race, a squal ripped through the fleet and the race was immediately called as masts were snapped and boats began to go over. I was crewing and the skipper of my boat was hell bent on continuing so he refused to let up and off course we were one of the boats that went over. I will never forget the shock of that ice cold water as the boat capsized. I immediately gasped as it first hit, luckily my head was above water at that moment or I am sure I would have taken a lungful of water! The committee boat happened to be at the farthest pointit could be from us at the time and was busy helping the crew of another boat that had capsized. The two of us managed to right the boat against rapidly stiffening muscles, and the captain , who was wearing a wetsuit, managed to hoist himself over the gunnel into the boat. I made an attempt to do the same but just as I thought I was going to make it, the weight of the water logged down parka dragged me down and puilled me completely underwater. I managed to get my head above water, thanks to the fact that I was wearing a life vest. I wanted to pull off the down coat, but not really thinking about such an oocrance when I got suited up, I had the life vest over the jacket and was afraid if I removed the vest to get the jacket off I might not be able to keep my head above water. I could only manage to cling ontop the side of the boat and pray for assistance. The skipper did make attampts to pull me in but he was cold and weaak and could not manage by himself. Finnaly, the committe boat spotted us and raced over. Several, very welcome, and strong arms lifted me out of the water into the committee boat just as I felt like I was going to go underf for the final time.
I was rushed to the shore, and they immediately threw me in a cold shower, clothes and all. I can only remember how hot that cold water felt to me. It was almost as shocking in its warmth as the sea water was when I went in. After, I recovered quickly with the help of some hot coffee and warm dry clothes. I never have forgot that and learned alot of valuable lessons. One of the most inportant was to think carefully about what I wear in cold weather and how I layer things, especially my life vest!. Rick
12-11-2009 11:29 AM
Boasun Cold water survival: is to sail south until the sea temp. averages in the 80s.
12-11-2009 06:11 AM
jerryrlitton I did the polar bear thing in Barrow, AK a while ago. The water temp was 32, OAT was 34 and 8 Kts of wind. Three of us went in. We were wearing tennis shoes and swimsuit. We had warm towels standing by and a paramedic with a AED at the ready. We jumped in and the rules said we had to totally emersed the body. So I did, ran out, got a warm towel, drove to hotel room and used the shower to warm myself. The cold water took your breath away. I was in maybe 10 seconds at the most. After I thought I was warm and several hours later I still got the shivers. All this of this for a piece of paper. Apparently I am not done doing dumb things. Yes, I have been the various cold weather flying schools, I wear a dry suit and insulation under when I fly over cold water however I am now a believer of the dangers of cold water sailing. It will kill you rapidly by making you shiver so hard you have very little or no muscle control. All it takes is once.

Jerry
12-11-2009 01:26 AM
RXBOT
Exellent

Even though most of us are aware this video really drives it home. If you are in the north Atlantic even if wearing a survival suit and in the water you only have 24 hours. Forget the water bottles and energy bars you won't live long enough to need them.
12-11-2009 12:19 AM
davidpm
Great Video on cold water survival

Sea Kayak - Cold Shock is a killer

Interesting about the three phases and what to do.

 
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