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Old 20 August 2018, 03:21   #1
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Sea Temperature & Hyperthermia

I was watching the news the other night and watched the report of a british woman who apparently fell off the back of a cruise ship in the adriatic and survived for 10 hours overnight in the adriatic sea. She was found by a coastguard vessel.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...uise-ship-fall

What got me thinking was there must have been more to this story, having worked on cruise liners people don't generally fall overboard as the railings are substantial, the only circumstances people have gone overboard is by there own free will or being pushed over or if doing something really dumb leaning way over while standing on one of the rails.

I was also wondering about hyperthermia, after 10 hours and dressed only in a pair of shorts and looked like a bikini top she was able to climb up the ladder put over the side of the coastguard ship. She was also a slim lady so not extra fat layers to help her float etc.

So anyone with knowledge of sea temp and hyperthermia ? could this lady have survived for 10 hours ... it just seems pretty amazing in my opinion.
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Old 20 August 2018, 03:30   #2
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Found the answer.
Water temperature

Professor Mike Tipton, an expert on surviving extreme environments, says: "There were lots of things that happened that were lucky.

"The key to her survival really was the temperature and the second aspect was that the water was calm.

"The water temperature would have been about 28-29C which is a little bit warmer than a swimming pool."

A person can survive for around one hour in 5C water, two hours in 10C and six hours in 15C - but if the temperature is in the high 20s then it is possible to survive for around 25 hours.

Humans can go into shock if they are suddenly immersed into cold water - which often means they lose the ability to control their breathing, according to this guide on Personal Survival Techniques produced for the Irish sea fisheries board.

As their body temperature falls, someone can become tired, confused or disorientated.

The best way to slow down the rate at which your body cools is to avoid swimming and instead try to float in the water with your knees raised up to your chest.
Calm sea

Professor Tipton told BBC Radio 5 Live that the "flat, calm conditions" meant the woman, named by newspapers as Kay Longstaff, was able to float, swim and "stay pretty much where she fell in".

"She wasn't being battered by waves for the whole of the time. She would have most inevitably had drowned if that had been the case."
Women float better than men?

Professor Tipton, who co-wrote a book called Essentials of Sea Survival, told BBC 5 Live that women's high proportion of body fat - typically 10% more than men - can work in their favour.

"They have more subcutaneous fat and that means they are more buoyant because the body's buoyancy comes primarily from the air and fat in the body," he said.

The extra fat also helps keep the body warm, Professor Tipton added, which helps when the human body gets tired in the water.

"You can imagine if you have to swim for 10 hours to keep your airway clear of the water, there's a pretty good chance you'd get exhausted."
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Old 20 August 2018, 03:51   #3
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Some divers from Cambridge University once told me that , as a rule of thumb , if the water temperature was above 22 degrees centigrade , you would probably survive the exposure ( but eventually succumb to exhaustion / dehydration etc ) but below that , the exposure itself would put an end to you .
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Old 20 August 2018, 05:53   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boristhebold View Post
I was watching the news the other night and watched the report of a british woman who apparently fell off the back of a cruise ship in the adriatic and survived for 10 hours overnight in the adriatic sea. She was found by a coastguard vessel.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...uise-ship-fall

What got me thinking was there must have been more to this story, having worked on cruise liners people don't generally fall overboard as the railings are substantial, the only circumstances people have gone overboard is by there own free will or being pushed over or if doing something really dumb leaning way over while standing on one of the rails.

I was also wondering about hyperthermia, after 10 hours and dressed only in a pair of shorts and looked like a bikini top she was able to climb up the ladder put over the side of the coastguard ship. She was also a slim lady so not extra fat layers to help her float etc.

So anyone with knowledge of sea temp and hyperthermia ? could this lady have survived for 10 hours ... it just seems pretty amazing in my opinion.
I'm with you on this. Thinking the whole thing was staged. How many passengers were on the boat....where do you start looking if someone is missing....bars, restaurants, other people's cabins, games halls, shops, toilets? That "lets turn the ship back" moment what prompted that? Did someone see it? Did they trawl camera footage? How far did she fall before hitting the water (That's going to hurt)
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Old 20 August 2018, 06:17   #5
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falling off the back from height lucky to surface through the prop wash and difficult to stay afloat with so much air in the water.
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Old 20 August 2018, 18:40   #6
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As said already - the warm temperatures really worked in her favour. Interestingly in addition to the cold water shock (again mentioned), hydrostatic squeeze is an interesting one when rescuing a casualty who's been in the water for a while. Didn't realise how carefully you gotta get 'em on board till recently.


For anyone interested in the cold water stuff - do check out the videos from Professor Popsicle (no joke!) on youtube.

"cold water boot camp" is a classic - if somewhat scary



Chucking willing volunteers in the cold oggin and then watching their systems slowly shutdown is a lesson to us all
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Old 20 August 2018, 22:39   #7
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I'm with you on this. Thinking the whole thing was staged. How many passengers were on the boat....where do you start looking if someone is missing....bars, restaurants, other people's cabins, games halls, shops, toilets? That "lets turn the ship back" moment what prompted that? Did someone see it? Did they trawl camera footage? How far did she fall before hitting the water (That's going to hurt)


An article I read said they pinpointed the time she went in (and therefore the location) from CCTV. It appeared it took them several hours from overboard to doing this so presumably they were searching elsewhere onboard first.

I also saw a picture from onboard which seemed to show a lot of ďsafety tapeĒ around an area of fencing/handrail. Itís not obvious what is wrong with it but the implication was this is where she had fallen over.

If itís as presented, then even with the water temps she would appear to have been very lucky. I canít really see how it can be a stunt as dying would seem the more likely outcome.
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Old 21 August 2018, 01:25   #8
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Put 5k p1ssed up muppets in an enclosed space and guess what happens next. Selfies.
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Old 21 August 2018, 01:39   #9
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Haha, beautifully written
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Old 21 August 2018, 02:39   #10
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I was working onboard a cruise ship called the Sky Princess back in the early 90's when we had an incident with a passenger overboard, a women was having a heated argument with her husband in one of the bars and told him she might as well jump overboard, he said go ahead ... so she did !

It was about midnight in the caribbean she jumped but luckily one of the deckhands saw her so raised the alarm quickly, the ships captain made an announcement and the ship turned around which was pretty interesting ....turned so sharply people fell off there stools around the blackjack tables, stuff went flying everywhere, ships crew were called to raillings all over the ship to lookout for her as we backtracked and searched, passengers were told to stay indoors. Eventually after about an hour she was spotted in the water by one of the blackjack dealers and then picked up by the ships safety boat (small rib).

She and her husband were disembarked at the next port of call.

A day after this incident the captain sent a note to all the crew which thanked them for there efforts and informed them the passengers had been disembarked and that he had notified the airline they were booked to fly back to the states on of their "recreational tendancies" which I thought was amusing (british humour)

A few weeks later she tried to sue the cruiseline stating she fell overboard. she lost the court case.
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