Natural Born Bushcrafter
Learning to swim is all well and good, but knowing personally 2 men from my youth who were very powerful swimmers yet both died in the Irish sea due to hypothermia, sets things in perspective...if it's inland waterways, swimming is good, if it's costal and you don't get help fast,being able to swim is not necessarily an advantage, when afloat you should always wear a life jacket note not a bouancy aid but a LIFE JACKET! ( hypothermia may still get you though)
Originally Posted by Sapper4083
I have done quite a few boating courses and I remember well one instructor telling me to always wear a life jacket in the sea, "cause there's no way you're swimming to shore from 10 miles out and if hypothermia does get you then with a life jacket at least we can retrieve your body!" That shocked me, but I got the point.
Last edited by luresalive; 09-03-2012 at 12:51 PM.
I wasnt talking about the sea. The sea is a whole new ball game. Sadly I have personally recovered enough bodies from inland waterways, floodwaters and rivers, both with and without bouyancy aids and lifejackets to last me a lifetime. Effective swimming is more about technique than sheer power, its about being able to defend yourself if you're swept away, its about knowing how to get yourself out of trouble letting the water do the work for you - but before all that NOT getting in that mess in the first place.
As for hypothermia its a bit of a 'pet subject' of my 'other' job. Human beings lose heat 4 times faster into land than we do air, into water we lose it 28 times faster, and into moving water 100 times faster.
The four stages where death can occur as a result of sudden cold-water are: Cold Shock—kills in 3–5 mins. Swim Failure—kills in 5–30 mins. Hypothermia—kills after 30 mins. Post-Rescue Collapse—kills during or hours after rescue.
The first two stages of immersion—cold shock and swim failure—kill more than half the people who drown. It’s especially important to protect yourself from those first two stages
In water below 15°C, the effects of immersion become significantly life-threatening to everyone. The lower the temperature, the more severe the symptoms. The effects of cold shock are completely out of your conscious control. If you don’t protect yourself from cold water, they will happen to you whether you like it or not.
Cold shock is caused by rapid skin cooling and can kill within three to five minutes after immersion. On initial immersion, you make a huge inspiratory gasp. Being immersed in near-freezing cold water is also extremely painful, and the sudden sensation of acute pain can accentuate the inspiratory gasp. The gasp is followed by severe hyperventilation: a fourfold increase in your breathing rate. It is not uncommon for you to be panting at a breathing rate of up to 65 times a minute in this critical stage, so there is no chance to hold your breath. Indeed, in water below 15°C, your breath-holding ability is reduced by 25–50 percent. If the water is near freezing, even after the effects of cold shock have settled, you’ll only be able to hold your breath for about 12–17 seconds.
The rapid breathing rate on its own can cause muscle spasms of the limbs and chest. All of these breathing irregularities increase the risk of drowning if you dip underwater or have a wave splash over your face. It only takes an inhalation of about five ounces (150 ml) of water to cause drowning. Drowning is a combination of cardiac arrest and suffocation. Your heart stops beating within one to two minutes after you have inhaled a significant amount of either fresh- or seawater. Water in the lungs compromises your ability to exchange oxygen, and because respiratory movements may occur for up to five minutes when underwater, water can continue to be drawn into your lungs.
Cold shock also causes a massive increase in heart rate and blood pressure. These cardiac responses may cause death, particularly in older, less healthy people.
The above isnt opinion its scientific fact taken from various training resources
Last edited by Silverback; 09-03-2012 at 01:24 PM.
Scary stuff...i remember that happening to me in a swimming pool once when i was a kid (it was one of those pools with artificial waves and waterfalls... its so scary because you can't actually do anything...
Originally Posted by happybonzo
My God! Why in the world would someone throw an empty tire to that man!? "Hey fella, I see you're having a hard time there. HERE! Catch this anchor!" That made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Since river rescue has come up, I'll relate my experience. When I was about 15 or so, I was swimming with my brother and two cousins in the slack water on the inside bend of a river. We were facing down-stream and allowing the current to carry us down, then catching ourselves with our feet, walking back upstream and doing it all over again. The water was between knee and thigh high. One of my cousins let himself get a little too far downstream before trying to put his feet down and was getting swept away in water over his head before we even knew it. He didn't swim well and was flailing much like the kid in the first video, so two of us ran down the bank, while I swam after him. I did end up catching up to him, grabbed his t-shirt first, then around under his arms, and basically we had to ride out the rapids (probably only class II, but that's a lot for a 15 year old) until we hit an eddy where the other two could pull us out. It takes a lot to control the rising panic and disorientation brought on by adrenaline, swirling water, and rocks bashing up against you but thankfully he and I both made it out with just bruises.
To paraphrase a quote I heard once, "Swimming is, in itself, not inherently dangerous; but it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity, or neglect."
So, be careful, be prepared, and stay sharp.
All the best to all of you,
Getting in the water in the first place made no sense - given this was a body recovery not really necessary either. Keeping hold of the rope he was tied to was a bad move too.
Originally Posted by jbrown14