Stuck In Cold Water
On the April of 1912 Titanic, Largest ship afloat left for its maiden journey across Atlantic to its destination US. Titanic was considered unsinkable due to it’s construction and so it carried life boats which could carry only half of its passenger population. Few days later Titanic hit the iceberg and within few hours the ship was resting in the bed of Atlantic. More than thousands in number lost their lives. It’s not that help never reached them but very few were alive to be rescued. The culprit was cold water because of which the people were froze to death.
A normal human body temperature is 37 degree and drop of few degrees lead to a condition of hypothermia which can lead to death. Cold water takes our heat 25 times faster than cold air and so if exposed to cold water for a longer duration leads to hypothermia. The key to survive in the cold water is not lose body heat under any circumstances.
Realistic approach is something which is very hard to have when you are in cold water. Thinking you can swim to the shore can be more devastating as it will lead to heat lose much faster than expected.Being in cold water leads to stiffness and weak grip which will hamper your effort to climb the boat.So it may better to just hold on to the upturned boat and await for rescue.
One should be prepared physically and mentally before getting involved in water adventure. 100% fitness is required for rowing a boat as it requires lot of strength and rhythm and when illness,fatigue or alcohol consumption it can not be performed properly. This in turn can lead into trouble and you may not be able to cope when you are in cold water.
Wearing a right gear is another important aspect which should not be neglected. One should always wear several light layer of clothing when into water adventure as it will help trap water which in turn reduced water loss. A layer of breathable yet waterproof fabric will be more efficient to trap water. The clotting should be tight to avoid being caught up in the equipment.
Many a times over confidence puts you in the trouble. You should always wear a life jacket no matter how good swimmer you are. Wearing a safety jacket will help you adapt to heat conserving techniques like drawing knees to chest,crossing your hand and pressing against the chest or crossing your ankles. If your boat sinks then try to find any thing on which you can climb and try to stay out of water as much as you can.
Getting the right treatment at the right time is crucial when dealing with hypothermia. In mild hypothermia removing the wet cloth and replacing with dry clothes and blanket will do the work but should be monitored in case the health deteriorates. In severe hypothermia the person should be moved to dry and warm area and cause of stiffness clothes should be removed only if possible. A warm bath or apply hot cloth to areas other than arms and limbs.