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Old 17 March 2008, 20:02   #1
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Sea survival

The reason we went up to Cumbrae last Saturday was to do our RYA sea survival course (there's a reason for this - of which more anon...).

On Sunday night we pulled Cowal off the water (no insurance on a mooring at this time of year) which involved me rowing out to her in the BiC thing.

50 metres short one of the rowlock sockets gave up the ghost, so I'm left doing my world famous impression of a sh1te hawk with a busted wing. A young gentleman from a hardboat gave me a tow with his SIB and trusty Yamaha, so that part ended well. I thanked him, and I hope that one day he'll see the light...

Anyway, this evening I, she and two pals were partaking in the PHT, and having a natter with Mine Host.

It seems that the owners of the HB (parents of the young gent) had invited a couple of their mates for a wee swally on board last night. Time to go ashore came, and one of the guests slipped off the stern and missed the tender.

The water here is 6 degrees C.

He was wearing jeans and t-shirt.

He was in the water for less than 2 minutes.

He is currently in Arran War Memorial Hospital being treated for hypothermia...

...as the man said, "Let's be careful out there".
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Old 18 March 2008, 02:16   #2
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It's unlikely to be hypothermia. Even in water at 6 degrees, it would take a lot longer than 2 minutes for the body core temperature to drop to hypothermic levels.

It's much more likely to be problems associated with immersion cold-shock. That's the gasp reflex, increased breathing and pulse rate and general body numbing that comes when someone falls into cold water - especially if they're unprepared or unused to doing that.

Cold shock kills far more people than hypothermia does. It makes it hard to control your body responses - even to the extent of making it hard to inflate a manually operated lifejacket - and people drown before there is time for them to reach hypothermia.
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Old 18 March 2008, 05:33   #3
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It seems that the casualty was brought ashore in the tender (still wet), and then walked to the PHT (a bar) before seeking medical attention. So yes, thermal shock was probably the main cause of the symptoms; but prolonged exposure to the elements (as well as previous consumption of alcohol) would not have helped his cause
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Old 18 March 2008, 10:40   #4
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Cotton kills - people seem to foget that - jeans and water just do not mix!!!
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Old 18 March 2008, 12:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
... - jeans and water just do not mix!!!
Agreed.
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Old 18 March 2008, 16:52   #6
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A Darwin Award in the making !

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