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Thread: The Truth About Cold Water

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up The Truth About Cold Water

    This might have been posted before, but I thought a review would be good idea

    Be sure to watch the video too.

    http://gcaptain.com/cold_water/?11198

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Thanks JD .
    Regards Rob J.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    A good article, and exactly why life jackets are always required attire on our boat.

    Jim
    Eternal optimist and a slow learner.
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow
    SOF Ruth Wherry
    and a new SOF Whitehall too.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    JD,
    Interesting and important stuff, but the author of the article seems more interested in insulting others and blowing his own horn then informing. I'm sure that "...mariners, executives, managers, insurers, dock workers, for certain – fisherman, and even many (most) rescue professionals:..." DO know about cold water immersion!
    Sort'a turned me off!
    Very interesting video.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Good article as a wake-up shout for those not knowing. It is surprising how many otherwise seadoggy types keep with cold water and with drowning (other essay) myths.

    I was lucky to be lifeguarding in the '60s when the guy who finally proved with movies at Jones Beach what drowning actually looks like. I think now it's taught properly but the myth remains.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    We always use our PFDs regardless of which boat we're in,(kayaks, or Whaler). We boat in the great PNW area and the water is cold. I've attended many training classes, Power Squadron, Coast Guard etc, and never got this information. Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    In the '70s when Imperial Lifesuits (the original Gumby suit) came out I wanted to show fishermen the importance of practicing with the thing a bit. I practiced a lot in a pool and once I was sure, one March evening I hopped off a pier in Astoria with the suit in its valise under my arm. Sure glad I practiced. When I hit the water my body really declined action and it was only having the drill automated that enabled me to get the suit on. Once on and drained by blowing on a tube to force the water out, I warmed up pretty quickly.

    In another thread I mentioned my friend who died as a result of rolling his kayak in supercooled water with no head gear on. If you've not been in real cold water, you should have a safety person at hand and give it a try.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Thank you Ian.
    Theory is one thing , practise is another.
    Knowing just what you are capable of is invaluable , yes , if you can have a safety person on hand , and give it a try , it will mean you make a much better informed decision if you are ever in the situation for real.
    Regards Rob J.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Has me thinking about the quality of my PFDs...

    Also has me thinking about boat design and capsizing. Even with flotation, you have just minutes of effective use of your body to get the boat upright, and yourself out of the water. More practice. I should also figure out the best way to get other crew members back into the boat.

    And perhaps a dry suit might be a worthwhile investment.
    --
    Mark

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    A dry suit is quite wonderful. If you are rowing or paddling you will want to think about sweat vapor, especially if like me you sweat easily. That requirement easily doubles the cost of the dry suit as you go to Goretex but if you can afford it, it's so very wonderful. If you're sailing, you'll be dressing more for warmth in the air and working less.

    A suit designed for immersion such as the top of the line Mustang immersion or ice rescue suits are of course best. Next best is a quality work suit. It will let in some water at the cuffs and zipper but that will be slow and warmable and you have considerable practical work time in the water. Next down the ladder is to put an outer layer of bib foul weather gear and a float coat - better if it has a beaver tail - or, next down, a good tight fitting Type III PFD under your oilies top.

    I've capsized and self-rescued a sailing dink in mid-March up here dressed in a good fitting Type III PFD and conventional oilies with the cuffs tied. I was in the water about five minutes getting the boat upright and floating low inside the swamped boat while I dewatered it. From there was about a two hour sail up wind to shore. The shock of easing into the water was considerable but it was easing in and I was floating high enough that my armpits were above the water and from there up never got wet. In short, I was reasonably well prepared for what I faced and came out of it chilled but no where near hypothermic.

    It's important to note that none of these things work at all if you have to don them in the water. You won't be able to. It's hard enough to go in cold water and then don a survival suit with the great access and gumby feet - something to be practiced a lot. And small day boats don't carry those suits anyway.

    Stay safe, have fun and G'luck.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    It's still winter here in the NE so I'm bumping this one up.

    Maybe it deserves a "sticky." A lot of good info in there.

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Its going to be 40C here , and a total fire ban day.
    Rob J.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Very sobering. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Interesting information, but it seems to me to be a distinction without a difference. Scientists and physiologists can argue about whether my cold dead hands were the result of cold-water shock or hypothermia, but it will make no difference to me or my survivors.

    Judging by the number of people I see on the water wearing no PFD, it's clear to me that boaters in general do not think through worst-case scenarios. As a pilot, I developed over the years a mindset of "Plan for the worst, hope for the best." I've carried that mentality into boating, which in some ways is more hazardous than flying.

    Thanks for the info.

    Tom

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Great thread and thanks for posting! IMO it should be a sticky....... I kayak year round on the Delaware River. 4 days ago, coming in from my run, I observed 2 older men in a canoe, coming out of the Crosswicks Creek on the ebb tide, heading towards the Bordentown put-in. The 2 gents were wearing carhartt type coveralls and NO PFD's. It caught my attention as did the nearby NJ State Police Officer who was about to drive away from the ramp, but upon seeing the 2 in the canoe, decided to head over to where they were loading up their canoe. I'm sure they weren't discussing the current status of the weather!

    The ramifications of cold water capsize are there for all to read, but I'm afraid an outright disregard for the water and safety is the prevailing belief in too many of our fellow citizens. How else to explain the needless deaths each year by kayakers and canoeists capsizing in cold water. Here on the Delaware River, 30 miles north of Philadelphia it is almost gauranteed that several deaths will occur between now and early summer, either by unsupervised children swimming in the still cool waters of the river or some ill prepared or improper dressed paddler or boater.

    As I paddle solo on the river year round I always asked myself this question: Is a drysut valued at 800-1000 dollars worth the value of my life? Of course, it's a no-brainer, however, when I observe people like the canoeists passing by me the other day, or watch as a canoeing/kayaking group gathers at the beach, wearing minimal if non-existent immersion clothing, I question the common sense of people when it comes to paddlesports. I also fear for the future of my sport once state or federal government decides to step in to "protect the citizenry". I fear the ignorance of too many of my fellow paddlers will ensure this outcome.

    Good responses by everyone on this thread, especially Ian McColgin, with his hands on experiences with the various immersion and floatation wear on the market today!

    Take Care,
    Mike

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    JD , I found the article I was looking for.
    http://gcaptain.com/truth-cold-water...Captain.com%29 .
    It approaches the subject from a rescuers point of view.
    And yes , an infrmative thread , thanks to all.
    Regards Rob J.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Portland, thanks a nice addition to the thread.

    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    I'm just glad to be able to make a worthwhile contribution JD.
    Its an important subject , that should be seriously addressed.
    Regards Rob J.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Truth About Cold Water

    Hello! I was browsing through threads and came upon your discussion. I thought I'd throw in something from my own experience in cold water paddling. When I was in school there weren't any drysuits yet. We used wetsuits. Later came drytops. Finally they invented drysuits and I always wanted one but was too poor to own one. I skrimped and purchased a good drytop with a neoprene waist band and used that with a quarter inch farmer john wetsuit. Now I'm not near as poor as I used to be and own a drysuit. I find though that for most purposes I prefer a farmer john with a drytop. Being a cold water diver I am confident that this arrangement is sufficient for most conditions, after all it works while diving where I am totally immersed in cold water. I once wrecked my Lightning in a storm at Lake Tahoe in the spring. The water was in the high 30s or low 40s. I spent over two hours in the water and was quite comfy. I use quality poly underwear under lycra2 wetsuit. I like this arrangement because it has so much flexibility. I can take off the drytop if it gets really warm and strip off some layers. If I'm in the cockpit of a boat I may take off all the tops and peel the Farmer John down to the waist. It also gives a lot of cushion when bumping around in a small boat. You can tear a hole in the wetsuit and it does'nt make much difference. In the summer I switch to a 3mm farmer john. If you wear water boots or shoes this is good for jumping in the water when you get to the beach, don't need waders or anything. I do use the drysuit for extreme weather but it feels a little restrictive being accustomed to the other arrangement. If you're not used to wearing wetsuits it may take some getting used to but for me I can wear this all day and feel very cozy. If some safety gear is very uncomfortable or inconvenient chances are you'll be tempted to forgo using it. The law of averages will get you!

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