I was shown this video during training and thought it might be useful to other paddlers. I've seen some other things along this line by the Coast Guard but they were for rescue professionals only. This is open source and very insightful. You might have to cut and paste the link.
Heel and Pegpads™
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Posted by: willi_h2o on Jan-18-13 2:59 PM (EST)
That video has been shown and discussed |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-18-13 5:39 PM (EST)
extensively on pnet. I'm not impressed with it.
Some may disagree with "bad science" |
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jan-18-13 8:18 PM (EST)
That's my point. The cold water |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-19-13 1:36 AM (EST)
scientists tend to talk as if everyone is *doomed* in cold water, but I've worked in cold water for short periods, wearing only swim trunks. No "gasp reflex". No cold water paralysis.
The point is...|
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-19-13 10:14 AM (EST)
...that the "gasp reflex" is uncontrollable and unpredictable. It can happen to you, despite the fact that you've had cold water experiences when it didn't occur. It happened to me in relatively benign conditions, despite the fact that I have spent a lot of time in much colder water.
How do you know that the risk is |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-19-13 5:08 PM (EST)
You've often told us about ...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Jan-19-13 6:03 PM (EST)
That's exactly the point I'm making. |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-20-13 1:52 AM (EST)
When I'm paddling a decked boat on cold whitewater, I'm prepared in my subconscious for the probability of flipping and rolling, or swimming. That reduces the effect of cold water shock. The other factor is proper gear, namely a drysuit or wetsuit, sufficiently insulated. The cold water shock response (better term than gasp reflex) is apparently mediated by the skin of the torso, though cold water on the face can elicit gasping.
yeah . it's a good vid. ..........|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Jan-18-13 9:11 PM (EST)
Posted by: underhills on Jan-19-13 6:42 AM (EST)
Great comment pilotwingz. That is was I meant when I posted this. I don't think it is definitive on what happens to everyone but gives you some food for thought. The one thing it does show is how important a PFD is.
Last Saturday |
Posted by: TommyC1 on Jan-19-13 8:01 AM (EST)
that'd be January 12 2013
It's important to recognize...|
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-19-13 10:20 AM (EST)
Being "completely relaxed and |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-19-13 6:00 PM (EST)
comfortable" is exactly the wrong preparation for withstanding immersion in cold water.
Let me clarify|
Posted by: Bnystrom on Jan-20-13 11:15 AM (EST)
One swallow doesn't make a summer. |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-20-13 7:22 PM (EST)
That may be on your IQ test. Your surprise experience does not supply us with generally useful evidence for the variability of cold water shock, or for whether one should be able to prepare for it.
That's all well and good...|
Posted by: Bnystrom on Jan-21-13 11:02 AM (EST)
sounds prudent to me|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-21-13 11:26 AM (EST)
Given the uncertainties remaining regarding gasp reflex (and there are uncertainties), I'd agree.
Cold water shock happens. Gasp |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-22-13 12:23 PM (EST)
"reflex" I'm not so sure.
Incidentally, what is the "party line" |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-22-13 12:28 PM (EST)
you're trying to spread on cold water immersion?
So now you're going...|
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-23-13 6:56 AM (EST)
Any guess on his BMI?|
Posted by: seadart on Jan-19-13 7:12 PM (EST)
The amount of insulation you carry on your body can have a big effect. I lost about 30 lbs and cold water affected me a lot more. Middle aged overweight women also are more likely to survive long immersion in cold water than young athletic men because of their body fat composition. Strange facts you can find about statistics of accidents. If he was in freezing water and was not shivering or expressing discomfort that's pretty impressive.
Don't UNDER estimate !!!|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jan-19-13 9:45 PM (EST)
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-19-13 10:30 PM (EST)
tend to underestimate the effects of cold water upon them until they experience it. This isn't a surprise, considering that this is the case in most human endeavors.
Googling on gasp and on cold water |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-20-13 2:00 AM (EST)
shock was mostly disappointing, because most sources exaggerate without casting much light, without discussing individual variation in response, and without discussing how one can become resistant to cold water shock. But here are a few links. The USCG slide show is pretty good. The Dworkin article recommends covering your face and nose as you enter cold water, but that doesn't work for kayakers. An article by a guy who swims in Lake Michigan in cold water (in a wetsuit) describes how to build up resistance to cold water shock. And posts on a UK/Ireland forum provide shared experiences of swimmers surprised that their cold water response is much less. Note that if a link isn't fully highlighted, you may have to copy the whole link and paste it in the address line.
cold water is like surgery....|
Posted by: tdaniel on Jan-20-13 10:14 AM (EST)
Let's be honest here|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jan-20-13 1:05 PM (EST)
Since we're agreed they should be |
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-20-13 7:10 PM (EST)
properly attired, is there an issue remaining?
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Jan-21-13 5:59 PM (EST)
Posted by: ppine on Jan-21-13 6:34 PM (EST)
For those that believe that the gasp reflex can be avoided with practice; how do you explain all of the dead people immersed in cold water?
Tahoe is a bit colder|
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-21-13 11:24 PM (EST)
this time of year and I am finding references (nothing completely reliable as to current surface temperature, just generalities) to about 50F or a touch cooler. This is certainly cold enough to cause hypothermia in a short period of time, but should be survivable for the time it would take to perform a rescue.
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-22-13 6:34 AM (EST)
...the Sheriff was weighed down by his standard-issue gear (gun, handcuffs, radio) and couldn't shed them in time. Add the cold water, possible gasping and you've got a lethal mix.
Beyond the video|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jan-22-13 11:35 AM (EST)
Actual swimming/rolling in ice water?|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jan-23-13 10:15 AM (EST)
This discussion is important and interesting but rather short on personal experience with cold water immersion and rescue.
There are several factors |
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-24-13 7:21 AM (EST)
Wearing immersion clothing that covers the chest makes a big difference. The fact that the paddlers probably had cold water splashing on their faces and necks would tend to desensitize them to sudden immersion, since their skin is already wet and cold. The fact that swims are commonplace prepared them psychologically.
Ocean vs. River|
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-24-13 1:14 PM (EST)
Those of us who paddle the oceans rather than inland rivers have a lower chance of encountering water that is sub 50F, unless we live north or south of a certain line on the map. Those who do paddle in those icy conditions have a notoriously bad survival rate in accidents. Going as far north as Vancouver means paddling on sub 50F water and the survival rates there, compared to say the 52-55F water I commonly paddle, are low enough to be horrifying.