Chapter 1 X Personal Safety
Before going out on the water, make sure everyone is wearing a properly fitted life jacket with an attached whistle that works when wet.
Life jackets can keep you warm and help save your energy. If you are not wearing your life jacket, your expected survival time is a lot less.
Know the Stages of Cold Water Shock and Critical Responses Cold water shock: You have one minute to adjust to the shock response. Remember, control your breathing and don’t panic. Meaningful activity: You have about 10 minutes of effective movement, so first assess your situation, locate other party members, attempt self-rescue, and perform emergency communication and signaling. Useful consciousness: You have one hour in cold water before becoming hypothermic and unconscious to focus on heat loss prevention (HELP); increasing buoyancy and using a communication device such as an emer gency locator beacon, waterproof marine VHF radio, cell phone in a water proof case, whistle, mirror or small flares. Hypothermia: After one hour of cold water immersion, the body core cool ing leads to loss of consciousness from hypothermia. Post-Rescue Collapse After rescue, someone who has been immersed in cold water is still in danger from “post-rescue collapse.” As blood pressure drops, inhaled water can damage the lungs. Cardiac arrest or arrhythmia can develop as cold blood is released from arms and legs into the body core. It is vital to treat the victim gently and get immediate medical care.
WEBSITE For more information on the 1-10-1 Principle of cold water immersion and hypothermia, visit: ColdwaterBootCampUSA.org
California Course for Safe Boating
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