BONUS: Right now, you'll also receive "The Survival Doctor's Ultimate Emergency Medical Supplies" report—FREE! Popular Posts8 Tips for How to Treat a Knee Injury and How to Know If It's Bad (1265)6 Clues Your Ankle is Broken, Not Sprained (1087)How to Know If You Really Have a Concussion (886)Your Child Has a Rash. If you can’t get out completely, keep as much of your body as possible out of the water. Find a long stick or something that will reach the person without you having to get on the thin ice. If you have a rope, tie a loop, throw it to the person, and tell him or her to loop it under the arms. If you go into the water, you must tie a rope under your arms, around your chest, and have someone strong enough there to pull you out.
I’ve heard tales of people who fell into cold water who appeared deceased and could be resuscitated because of the cold.
Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about. Hypothermia (below normal body temperature) is an insidious killer that is involved in perhaps as many as one-half of Minnesota’s boating deaths each year. Cold water robs body heat 25 times faster than air of the same temperature, so if you capsize or fall out of your boat, immediately attempt to reboard your craft. If a nearby floating object is large, pull as much of your body as possible out of the water and onto the float. Currently within Canada, there are hundreds of thousands of persons being transported for business or pleasure over inland waterways, lakes and rivers. Recently, (June 2000), there was an accident in Georgian Bay where two children drowned after the True North ll sank within two minutes (Reference 162). Little specific design of immersion suits was conducted until the middle of the 19th Century. Lee (1960) reported that: "An exposure suit was brought from America by Merriman in about 1870. Aury (1955) reported that: "In 1875, Captain Boyton, wearing an inflatable swimsuit, attempted to cross the English Channel, propelling himself by paddles and a small sail. Following the Empress of Ireland accident in 1914, a Mr Macdonald of Portland, Oregon demonstrated his waterproof rubber survival suit and lifejacket in the harbour in Montreal, but no one paid much attention to it (Reference 29). After World War I, the British Merchant Advisory Committee met in 1922 to review lifesaving appliances (Reference 112).
Yet, no one acted on this profound and correct statement, nor did any recommendations pertaining to this discovery appear in the extensive report; it was hidden away in one of the Annexes!
It was the inadequacies of life saving equipment during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War that was the catalyst for scientific examination of the problem. As Golden (1996) (Reference 57) clearly pointed out, official inquiries in an endeavour to prevent a recurrence, have been more interested in the cause of disaster than the cause of death of the crew and passengers. The Medical Research Committee (Reference 110) published a pamphlet in 1943 on "The Guide to the Preservation of Life at Sea After Shipwreck". The pioneering work post-war was conducted under the auspices of the Royal Navy Personnel Research Committee and subsequently the Royal Navy Institute of Naval Medicine.
Golden and Hervey (1981) (Reference 56) identified four distinct stages in which a human immersed in cold water may become incapacitated and die. On initial immersion, there is a large inspiratory gasp followed by a four-fold increase in pulmonary ventilation, i.e. Toronto – A 14-year-old high-school student drowned yesterday after jumping into the frigid water of Lake Ontario. A man celebrating the New Year at a party on a frozen lake drowned when he jumped into a hole cut in the ice. Hundreds of people lined the shore of this tiny coastal community Thursday night as hope faded for three teens who were swept into the ocean while playing on ice floes. Death at this stage, between three and thirty minutes after immersion, appears to affect those who try to swim. The cause was thought to be due to the respiratory and cardiovascular responses already started in the initial immersion. In Chester Basin, a 37-year-old woman drowned while attempting to swim across Gold River to the Goldwater Marina. A Chester man who can’t swim watched Tuesday as his mother was overcome by frigid, choppy water off Quaker Island, Lunenburg Co. Most important, there was potential help at the scene of the accident, but no one recognized the danger of sudden death from cold shock in an otherwise healthy person. The clear message is that sudden entry unprotected in cold water is very dangerous and should be avoided wherever possible. In order to understand the cause of hypothermia, it is important to understand the basic physics of how a human maintains heat balance. In water, heat is conducted to the molecules of water in contact with the skin ("boundary layer"), these molecules are warmed and rise (Convection), and are replaced by cooler ones.
If the deep body temperature continues to fall, death occurs on average from cardiac arrest somewhere below a body core temperature of 24°C.
A later predicted survival curve was published by Hayes et al (1987) derived from Professor Eugene Wissler’s Cold Water Survival Model (Figure 4) (Reference 67). Figure 2 (After Molnar 1946) – Duration of immersion of shipwreck survivors in ocean waters of diverse temperatures.
Figure 4: Predicted survival time against sea temperature for different levels of immersed clothing insulation (as derived from Wissler Model, Modified by Hayes, 1987).
A summary of current predictive curves is given in Oakley and Pethybridge (1997) (Figure 5) (Reference 126).
Figure 5: Predicted periods (in hours) of immersion at different temperatures which are expected to result in "likely death". Figure 6: Empirical curve correlating deterioration in consciousness to time, in an immersed body with (B) and without (A) a lifejacket. Markle (1991) provides several classic examples of death from hypothermia in water below 15°C in his US Coast Guard Report on lifesaving systems for small passenger vessels (Reference 106).
The COMET had 27 persons on board and sank in Block Island Sound, Rhode Island, about seven miles offshore, in 48°F [9°C] water. The JOAN LA RIE lll had 22 persons on board and sank about 8 miles off of the New Jersey coast in 53°F [11.6°C] water. The argument that liferafts are not necessary because vessels operating near shore in day time can expect other vessels to come to the rescue quickly is not supported, nor is the addition of an EPIRB going to speed up rescue to this type of response time.
Up to twenty percent of immersion deaths occur during extraction from the water, or within hours after rescue (Reference 57).
When the Wahine Ferry sank in 1969 in Wellington Harbour, Mercer (Reference 113) reported that, of the 51 lives lost, twelve were alive on rescue, but died shortly afterward. It has now become clear that over half of the immersion-related deaths occur during the first two stages of immersion, i.e. Although cold shock or an increased respiratory response to cold water has been known for many years (Falk, 1884) (Reference 45), the practical significance of this response has only really been evaluated in terms of its practical importance in the last 20 years.
Swimming has a massive impact on the rate of body cooling and can increase the rate between 30-40% (Reference 92).
Coincident to this, the average swimming angle increased from an average of 18? at the start of the swim to 24? at the end of the swim.
Wallingford et al (2000) (Reference 170) investigated the factors which limit cold water swimming distance while wearing a personal flotation device. Markle (1991) (Reference 106) correctly noted that persons in the water with and without lifesaving equipment died at a much higher rate than predicted by the estimated survival graph. Markle further concluded that "The present requirements for lifejackets, life floats and buoyant apparatus have proven adequate in all studied casualties where water temperature was 15°C or less". The provision of a buoyant apparatus in which the survivor is basically floating with head only out of the water clinging to a becketed line in water below 15°C is only a last ditch measure if everything else has failed.
Paradoxically, as previously stated, we have done a very good job of educating the public about hypothermia.
It was at that time that the lifeboat began to capsize to port in a very slow manner, like watching a slow motion picture.
Death obviously in this case was caused by cold shock and possibly swimming failure, but certainly not hypothermia. Sterba et al (1979) (Reference 142) investigated breath holding capability of humans in water ranging from 15°C-35°C. Hayward et al (1984) (Reference 74) showed clearly that there is an inverse relationship between water temperature and breath hold ability. Tipton (1989) (Reference 153) had already documented the initial cardio-respiratory responses to immersion in cold water, i.e. There has now been more research done on loss of tactility in cold water during the first 10-15 minutes of immersion (Reference 78).
The ability to do such tasks as activate the life jacket inflation device (if fitted), climb into a life raft, cling to a becketted line or activate a flare depends on manual dexterity and grip strength. The sinking of the Hudson Transport on Christmas Day 1981 in the freezing water off the Gulf of St. If one is therefore going to regulate that passengers must wear a lifejacket on a passenger-carrying vessel that does not have the ability to carry a liferaft, then the lifejacket must be an inflatable one. The argument from ship’s operators that they are expensive to purchase and maintain is only partially true. This chapter discusses essentials to know about the applied physiology of a sudden cold water immersion accident.
Up until fifty years ago, no one really understood the reason why people suddenly immersed in cold water died. Any early attempt at saving ship wrecked mariners was to provide them with flotation in rather than out of the water.
Although the four stages have been known since World War ll, stages 1 and 2 were considered only of academic interest.
Even though there are well established teaching programs, good regulations and much improved life saving equipment, there are still in the order of 140 000 open water deaths each year. The layperson and accident investigators are often surprised that some people do not survive a lengthy immersion.
From all the combined research on cold water accidents and scientific research, it has become clear that sudden immersion in cold water, i.e. 1) Throughout the report, buoyancy will be reported in imperial pounds, kilograms or Newtons depending on the year of the test and the current nomenclature. Please Read This!Use the information on this site AT YOUR OWN RISK, and read the disclaimer.
The weather’s been pretty warm here in Colorado, and the ice on the ponds is never very thick anyway. Immersion in cold water (less than 70?F) causes the body to lose heat faster than it can produce it, decreasing the body’s inner (core) temperature.
When you're in cold water, do not swim unless you can reach a nearby boat, fellow survivor or floating object.
However, if you are wearing a Type III PFD, or if the HELP position causes your face to become submerged, bring your arms and legs straight down and hold them tight to your sides while keeping your head tilted back.
Moreover, there are thousands of Canadians who earn their living working on or flying over water. The question has been asked as to what steps should be taken to prevent this from re-occurring. Circa 450 BC, Herodotus (Reference 77) wrote of the sea borne expedition against Athens by the Persian general Mardonius. Wrecking was not made illegal until 1807 and the Royal Navy’s use of impressment was not abandoned until 1815.
The only work on survival equipment had been the pioneering work of Captain John Ross Ward in the development of a life jacket in 1851 for the National Lifeboat Institution (Reference 99). It consisted of a complete waterproof dress with the upper part inflated with air, and it protected the body from loss of heat; the face was the only part of the body exposed. He was a survivor from the Titanic who noted that the victims wearing lifebelts and in cold, but calm water had died of cold. 12,000 British merchant seamen and 5354 German naval officers and men drowned during World War l, yet again, no one asked why (Gilbert, 1994) (Reference 50).


Their review of passenger ships lost between 1914 and 1922 revealed that, 10,024 (21%) of crew and passengers had lost their lives. The SOLAS committee was recalled, but no advice was given to do research on personal protection. The progress of the design and development of immersion suits will be discussed in Chapter 2. This was based on the observations of naval medical officers who had treated survivors, and on 279 survivor interviews. However, what is most important to note is that stages 1, 2 and 4 were largely regarded as of academic interest only; so they did not have a large effect on survival policy, international regulations and survival equipment. These are typical examples that continue to be regularly reported in the Canadian press each year and demonstrate the practical evidence that cold shock kills. Hours after the incident, police still did not know why Peter Arthur went into the water, which was only about 4 degrees.
Adrian Weber, 38, was playing hockey with 25 friends on New Year’s Eve on Kingsmere Lake when he attempted a polar bear swim between two holes cut two metres apart in the ice.
Police said four males between the ages of 16 and 18 were jumping from ice cake to ice cake about 50 metres from shore when one of them fell into the frigid water and slipped under the ice. It has now become apparent that much more emphasis must be put on swimming failure as a cause of death.
An alternative theory was that the cold water contact with the nose and mouth induced the "diving response". About forty people including RCMP, firefighters and Coast Guard personnel undertook a search. Kathleen Haase, 44, and her son Michael, 25, were spending the day exploring the small grassy island about two kilometers south of Chester.
Thus, in the cold, a thermal gradient is established, down which heat "flows" from the warmer deeper tissues to the cooler tissues near the surface of the body.
All objects possessing heat, including the body, emit thermal radiation from their surfaces. This is the process by which heat is exchanged with the environment by the movement of air or water molecules adjacent to the skin, as they move away they are replaced by colder molecules. This term is used to describe heat exchange between the skin and surrounding surfaces with which it is in direct contact.
Thus, in water only two of the four primary pathways for heat exchange are available, and heat loss is principally by convective and conductive heat exchange.
The reason for this is that water has a specific heat 1000 times that of air and a thermal conductivity of about 25 times that of air. The first classic survival curve was published by Molnar in 1946 (Figure 2) (Reference 115). From this and the combination of previous work, Tikuisis (1995, 1997) has published the latest prediction of survival time at sea level based on observed body cooling rates (References 149 and 150). From this work, it became possible to give advice that survival times could be extended if the survivors stayed still in the water and did not attempt to swim to keep warm.
The COMET had no EPIRB and the only lifesaving apparatus was a 20- person buoyant apparatus. Life saving apparatus consisted of a 7-person buoyant apparatus and a 15-person life float. As already stated, death will occur within 3-5 minutes for those who have not donned a life jacket, or from swimming failure within 30 minutes if not clothed properly and supported by a lifejacket. In the 1994 Estonia accident, at least one person who was noticed to be alive in the water, lost consciousness when in a helicopter hoist, fell back into the sea and died. When considering at what water temperature protection should be provided against the initial responses to cold water immersion, it is now known that the cold shock response begins at water temperatures below 25°C (Reference 90) and peak at a temperature between 10-15°C (References 154 and 155). Tipton et al (1999) (Reference 160) studied the deterioration of swimming performance after the subjects had adapted to the stage 1 cold shock respiratory responses. This supports Golden’s theory that many victims drown during the cold shock and swimming failure stage of immersion, not from hypothermia per se. This might have been the case in this study, but it is still possible to die from hypothermia and post rescue collapse as in the case of the Lakonia in 1965 that sank in 17.9°C water off Madeira (Reference 91). Drowning is very likely from cold shock and swimming failure, in the short term, and hypothermia and post rescue collapse in the long term. As a result, local rescuers, police, the Red Cross, coroners and pathologists always assume that someone who has been pulled out of cold water drowned form hypothermia, yet this often is not the case. They concluded that breath holding ability at 15°C was approximately 30% of the nonimmersed values. Lawrence is a classic example where cold extremities contributed to the death of five seamen (Reference 80). The modern inflatable lifejacket is an excellent piece of life-saving equipment; it is comfortable, unobtrusive and very reliable. The fact is that once operators start to use them and passengers become familiar with them, then the confidence in their merit will go up, the price (due to a higher demand) will go down, and maintenance costs will correspondingly go down due to the general public starting to respect a very good piece of equipment that will potentially save their life.
As a result, regulators, teaching establishments and survival suit manufacturers all concentrated their efforts on protecting the human from hypothermia.
What has been overlooked is the significance of the first two stages - cold shock and swimming failure as a cause of death. Theoretically they are within the "safe" boundaries of one or more of the survival curves that have been developed to predict death from hypothermia. But, according to one article I read, our firemen and rescuers spend a fair amount of time chasing people off iced ponds.
This decrease can cause symptoms ranging from continual shivering, poor coordination, and numb hands and feet in moderate cases to hallucinations and eventual death in most extreme situations. In fact, modern small craft have built-in flotation that will support the weight of the occupants, even after capsizing or swamping.
Depending on the local climate, transportation may occur throughout the year or be limited to when the passage is ice free.
He clearly distinguished drowning from hypothermia, when he wrote, "Those who could not swim perished from that cause, others from cold" (Reference 56). In 1869, Captain Stoner invented a patent life saving apparatus, which was revolutionary for the time and addressed all the fundamental modern day requirements of a survival suit. In a second attempt two months later, he carried provisions, rockets and a trumpet and successfully crossed from Cape Gris Nez to Dover in 24 hours" (Reference 12). Toward the end of that war, Walter Fry developed a lifesaving suit, which was tested by the US Navy in January 1918 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but nothing seems to have come out of that either (Hiscock, 1980) (Reference 79). The whole report concentrated on the multiple failures that occurred in the mechanics of launching lifeboats into the water. The only positive step taken in 1928 was the use of a tailor’s dummy or manikin to investigate the performance of the lifejacket and protective oilskins in turbulent seas. The recent issue of the Marine Investigation Report by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on the sinking of the "True North ll" in Georgian Bay June 2000 extends to 63 pages (Reference 162). This was the basis from which all the modern physiological research has been conducted.Two other reports were to follow after the War that revealed the shocking loss of life at sea which could have been prevented.
As a result of all the aforementioned information, it had become clear that the human body cannot maintain its internal temperature when immersed in water below 25°C when conscious and shivering. All of the effort was concentrated on stage three, that of hypothermia, on predicting the onset and prevention of hypothermia. It must also be understood that ability to swim in warm water is no indication of how well a human can swim in cold water. This causes breathing to stop (apnea), a slowing of the heart rate (bradycardia) and even cardiac arrest (asystole). When their small speedboat started to drift away from the island as the tide rose, Kathleen Haase tried swimming after it. Carriage of EPIRBs (with their 90 minute to 2 hour response time), and the fact that the vessel may be operating in a group or close to shore are not reasons for a waiver. The heat required to drive this process is removed from the surface of the object on which evaporation is occurring, and it cools. Despite this, a naked individual in cold water will cool approximately four times faster than in air at the same temperature. However, after surgical induction of hypothermia, there has been one reported incident of resuscitation from a body core temperature of 9°C (Reference 122). Furthermore, adopting a fetal position with legs together and arms to the side, or folded across the chest prolonged survival time (References 5, 53, 71, 89 and 125). About 15 of the survivors held onto the buoyant apparatus at some point, including two of three who set out in a swamped dinghy to get to the buoyant apparatus. Most of the passengers were resting in the deckhouse when the vessel was hit by a rogue wave, heeled over, and began to flood. He recorded cases of sailors who had fallen into the canals and harbour and died within 24 hours of being rescued (Reference 55). An extensive list of post rescue collapse incidents is reported in Golden’s articles on shipwreck and survival (Reference 55) and Golden and Hervey’s article on the after-drop and death after rescue from immersion in cold water (Reference 53).
However, as stated previously, investigators still concentrate on the cause of the marine accident and not the precise cause of an individual’s death. This is in part, the explanation for deaths that occur in water as high as 15°C long before standard survival curves would predict.
All ten competent swimmers completed a 90-minute swim in 25°C water; eight completed the swim in 18°C water. Wallingford’s study did not support the assumption made by Hayward et al (1975) (Reference 70) that hypothermia could be responsible for the inability to swim in cold water while wearing a personal flotation device. Even if they survive long enough to cool, cold-induced muscle incapacitation can prevent their keeping their backs to the waves, and thus their oro-nasal cavities clear of water, sometime after their body core temperature is reduced 2-3°C.
However, if they abandon ship into cold water, unless they are mentally and physically prepared for the cold shock, are protected with a survival suit, a lifejacket and a spray hood, they may drown in the immediate abandonment due to the inability to control breathing in the first three minutes of immersion. They concluded that breath holding time in water below 15°C was 25-50% of the presubmersion level.
Then in 1994, Tipton et al investigated the cardiac responses to submersion in water of 5°C and 10°C (Reference 157).
The problem in each of these accidents was that many of the people were trapped between decks.
The Europeans have been using them for recreation and commercial boating operations on their lakes, rivers and canals for years.
The two children in the True North II accident would have likely been alive and well today if they had worn a good inflatable lifejacket as they stepped on board the boat.
The severity of the effects of cold shock is directly proportional to the water temperature peaking between 10-15°C. It has now been shown that a person’s swimming ability in warm water bears no relationship to that in cold water.
Horrible And, although I don’t know any details, it makes me think of the many deaths like this that are preventable. If you’re able to get part of your body out of the water, wring out your gloves, sleeves, etc.
Irrespective, for a large portion of the year, particularly the winter, spring, and early summer, the water is cold.
In spite of hundreds of thousands of maritime disasters, the precise medical cause of death has been rarely noted.
Shipwrecked sailors had to cling to wooden spars, and water and rum barrels (Reference 29). It included a waterproof suit, a lifejacket, head protection, a signalling device and paddles for aiding passage through the water (Figure 1) (Reference 44).
The Board of Trade bought a number of them in 1872 and supplied one to each of their Lifeboat Stations." (Reference 96). Although the International Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Committee was formed directly as a result of this accident, no thought was given to personal protection. Ultimately, the US Navy and Coastguard developed a combination flotation and exposure garment for aviators.
One very small section was devoted to a simple applied cold water physiology experiment conducted by Hill on the effect of clothing on the laboratory assistant Mr. This had been precipitated by the loss of all 17 crew of the Rye Harbour lifeboat in the English Channel (Reference 100).


The first was the Talbot Report (Reference 147) published in 1946.This showed the inadequacy of the RN lifebelt and the Carley type floats. Thus, there is still no consideration given to the physiological impact resulting from the first two stages of immersion in the design of emergency equipment.
When Peter failed to surface, his friends sought help from nearby construction workers, who called the police. The classic testimony heard in the coroner’s court is: "We saw him go over the side, he started to swim and by the time we had the boat turned around and tried to identify where he was lost, he had disappeared. In normal circumstances in air, the body can exchange heat with the environment via four physical processes: radiation (R), convection (C), conduction (K), and evaporation (E). This is because thermal conductivity of water is 25 times that of air, and its volume-specific heat capacity is approximately 3500 times that of air.
Survival predictions were later produced by Hall (1972) (Reference 65), and by the Canadian Red Cross from work conducted by Professor Hayward (1975, 1977, 1984) at the University of Victoria (Figure 3) (References 69, 70, 71 and 73).
All of these predictive curves are premised on the fact that the person using the curves is prepared to accept the assumption that death is due to hypothermia.
During the Second World War, the Germans and Allies noted that some of those who were rescued alive, died shortly afterwards. It is now thought by many that the pressing threat to otherwise healthy individuals is the respiratory distress evoked by immersion and the consequent inability to control breathing and breath hold. In 10°C water, five swimmers completed 90 minute swims, four were withdrawn between 22 and 50 minutes close to swim failure and one was withdrawn at 61 minutes close to swim failure. At the end of the swims, swimmers reported that it became increasingly difficult to straighten their limbs and coordinate swimming movements. There was no correlation between distance swum and percentage body fat, aerobic fitness and abdominal skinfold thickness. If Hayward’s prediction was correct, the swimmers would have covered a distance of 2058 metres before incapacitation. Again, as Markle clearly pointed out, in the case of the Cougar accident, the two people who managed to get themselves on top of a buoyant apparatus were the two not to be hospitalized. The Ocean Ranger sank in near freezing water on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland in February 1982 with the loss of all 84 men.
It is not just a problem of not being able to breath hold; if you are in choppy water, there is an inability to coordinate and control breathing with wave splash. Their predictive curve was recently validated at the higher end of the scale by Cheung et al (2001) (Reference 35) in 25°C water following a breath holding experiment. Ectopic arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) were observed in 11 of the 12 subjects in 29 of the 36 submersions. Vincent and Tipton (1988) (Reference 151) showed that the maximum voluntary grip strength (MVGS) of subjects who immersed their unprotected hands or forearms in 5°C water was reduced by 16% and 13% respectively, and that wearing a glove significantly reduced the MVGS by 16% in air and with the hand glove and water immersion combination, the reduction was 31%. The wearing of an inherently buoyant lifejacket would have further hampered their escape if it was possible.
Canada has simply been slow in effecting new legislation for approval and it is only in the last five years that they have started to come into general use. They die from a variety of problems in which moderate hypothermia is enough for them to lose their physical ability and mental determination to keep their backs to the waves.
A conscious decision to swim (and rescue oneself) or stay floating still in the water (and be rescued) should not be taken lightly without assessing the pros and cons.
Wearing your personal flotation device (PFD) will help protect you from hypothermia in several ways. Carriage of liferafts or immersion suits within Canada’s internal waterways is not mandatory when operating close to shore.
With the advent of iron ships around 1850, not only did the ships sink faster, but also there was less flotsam for flotation. The "Dreadnaught Safety Suit" made of rubberized material and padded with kapok was reported to be in use at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in the winter of 1918 – 1919 (Reference 29). The policy, right up the Second World War and the following ten years was still to rely on flotation in rather than on the water using lifeboats, Carley floats and a series of Balsa, Spanner or Denton rafts.
Over 30,000 men died after escaping from their ships, in other words, during the survival phase. For instance, flares are still vacuum packed in polythene bags and as in the Estonia accident were not usable simply because no one had the grip strength or the tactility to open the bags. These latter cardiac responses may cause death, particularly in older, less healthy people. A woman who didn’t want to be identified said people on shore tried to rescue the teens with a rope. Wayne and Geraldine Truck were going past the island in their 11-metre sailboat when they heard the son’s distant screams for help.
Matthes (Reference 109) noted how ditched German aircrew who had been conscious in the water and aided in their own rescue, became unconscious and died shortly afterwards. However, those who swum the greatest distance had a significantly larger tricep skinfold thickness.
This was more than double the distance of 889 metres covered by the subjects long before incapacitation from hypothermia (end average core temperature of 35.8°C).
After it had capsized it was approximately 12 feet maybe off the Seaforth Highlander, and I could see what I estimate to be eight or nine men clinging to the boat in the water. This is a typical scenario for passengers on tourist vessels in Canada’s lakes and rivers in spring and early summer. Research has also shown that hand grip strength was reduced by up to 60% (References 36, 37, 60 and 81), manual dexterity was reduced by 30% (References 48, 95 and 148) and speed of finger flexion was decreased by 15- 25%. Nevertheless, for those who found themselves in the water and in the dark in two of the accidents, a lifejacket was critical to their survival. It decreases the amount of movement necessary to remain afloat, and it also helps to insulate you from heat loss. In the 18th and 19th century, James Lind (1762) mentioned the dangers of collapse after rescue (Reference 102), and James Currie (1797) observed deterioration of his subjects before improvement (Reference 41). They used suits called "spring-pels", these consisted of sealskin or seal gut stitched together to form a complete waterproof covering when sailing in their kayaks (Vanggaard, 1988) (Reference 168). In 1912, Mr Boddy demonstrated his "Boddy" Life Saving jacket in the English Channel off Cowes, but his efforts came to nought even though it was approved by the Board of Trade for aviation (Reference 1). Thus, both funding and direction for physiology and human factors research has sadly lagged behind the technological advances in ship design.
The second was the Medical Research Committee report by McCance et al (1956) which investigated "The Hazards to Men in Ships Lost at Sea 1940 – 1944" and examined the cause of death at sea in greater detail (Reference 108).
The bailer in the Estonia liferaft was wrapped in polythene and after attempting to open it with his teeth, one survivor finally gave up after he had lost several teeth!! These effects last for the first two to three minutes, just at the critical stage of ship abandonment (Tipton, 1989) (Reference 153), (Tipton et al., 1994) (Reference 157). Yet these figures are difficult to validate in the laboratory where the body temperature only falls about two or three degrees in the equivalent time.
The two or three people who were not able to get a lifejacket were able to use either the buoyant apparatus or the flotsam. The remaining 20 persons were able to escape into the water, but none was able to put on a life jacket.
McCance et al, (1956) (Reference 108) found that seventeen percent of those shipwrecked survivors rescued from the water at 10°C or less died within 24 hours of rescue. It is only possible, to a limited degree, to estimate the cause of death from a newspaper report or the scant information in the accident investigation. Similarly, in another case referred to by Markle (Zephyr ll accident), if the device had been a liferaft instead of a buoyant apparatus, the person without the lifejacket would have been able to board it and would have survived the few minutes in the water.
The cause of death was attributed to drowning from hypothermia, yet from the testimony available, many died after only a matter of a few minutes in the water. If it is not practical to stow a liferaft on small vessels, then passengers must wear a modern inflatable lifejacket at all times.
If there are to be any changes in policy on the wearing of immersion suits, lifejackets or carriage of liferafts, should it be related to the physical water temperature at the time the vessel is operating? A version of this suit is in the Danish National Museum (Willett, 1988), (Reference 172) (Bricket-Smith, 1924), (Reference 26). In 1871, it was reported that 2740 British seamen lost their lives through drowning (Reference 29).
As the two officers sat on nearby rocks, huddled in blankets, members of the Toronto police marine unit arrived and took over the search.
It represents the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a given volume of water by 1°K. Apparently all but two persons made it to the life float and buoyant apparatus, which were secured together.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that such a good job has been done educating people on the dangers of cold water, immersion and hypothermia, that even the pathologists now list the cause of death as hypothermia, even though the cold, wet body on their autopsy table actually died from cold shock or swimming failure and drowning.
Stroke length decreased by 50% during the last 30 minutes for the swimmer who reached swim failure in 61 minutes. They had lifejackets on, and there was a light on each lifejacket.…We were still along the lifeboat, and after maybe a minute and a half or two minutes – it is very difficult to estimate – the men clinging to the boat began to let go, and they drifted down my port side.
Finally, are Canadian national immersion suit standards adequate and how do they relate to the lifejacket standards and how do they interrelate to international standards? Dragging the area with a net, they located the teen, who by that time had been in the water for about 30 minutes. Rescue crews worked to revive her on the boat ride and in the ambulance to South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater.
At 37°C the volume-specific heat capacity of water is 3431 times that of air.) Furthermore, when in water, unlike air, the surface area available for heat exchange with the environment comes close to 100%. They decided to swim to an island, only one was alive six hours later when he called for help when almost ashore. At that point I shouted down to the mate on the deck via the loud hailer system to throw over a liferaft. These questions will be addressed in the following chapters with conclusions and recommendations. Firefighters performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived to continue treatment. They drove a car onto the ice and pointed the headlights of the car toward the hole to get some kind of light onto the lake. He also emphasized the point that death will occur much quicker from drowning if a lifejacket is not worn (Figure 6) (Reference 54). Of the remaining 18 gathered at the life float and the buoyant apparatus, 14 survived and 4 died in the 90 minutes it took for the rescue to arrive. I saw the men running up forward on my deck to go for the liferaft, and they threw a liferaft over the side which inflated right beside the men in the water. However, this may not be the case for an aging population of tourists that may have to abandon a vessel in cold water, such as the St. Their desperate plight may be imagined from the fact that some of them were so chilled by wind and water that they climbed the ladder using knees and elbows rather than hands and feet.
The corollary to this is that hot water is a very good medium to re-warm hypothermic victims. For those with a potential heart conduction defect, the heart is likely to be very susceptible to sudden immersion in water of 10°C, resulting in a cardiac arrest or death.
No apparent effort was made by any of the men in the water to reach the lines which my men had been throwing to them after the boat capsized. Sudden immersion in cold water to the neck makes the heart much more susceptible to arrythmias, due to an increase in output of the stress hormones (i.e. I saw a life ring with line attached landing close to the men clinging to the boat, and they didn’t make any effort to reach the life ring. At this time there were some men drifting down my port side, but the lifeboat was still off the port quarter of the ship with two or three men clinging to it. It was close to my port propeller at this time, so I had to stop my port propeller in case the men got caught in it….I maneuvered the ship back around to an upwind position from the lifeboat and steamed down close to the lifeboat, the men and the lifejackets in the water.



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