Can You Survive the Cold Water Test?Each year, hundreds of Americans die in boating related accidents-many occurring in the "out-of-season" months when the water is painfully cold. Educating boaters on the importance of safe boating is crucial during these cold months and at all times of the year. The following information about boating in the cold awater months is the first in a series of monthly boating safely releases that will be distributed throughout the season, in conjunction with the 1998 National Safe Baoating Campaign,. With cold weather still upon us this mont, it is important that all boaters be prepared to handle a situation where theyor their passengers are suddenly thrust into cold water. How prepared would you be? Test your knowledge on how much you know; it may mean your survival.
1) Cold water can best be defined as water temperatures around and below:
A. 32 degrees Fahrenheit
B. 40 degrees Fahrenheit
C. 50 degrees Fahrenheit
D. 70 degrees Fahrenheit
2) The "exposure" involved with cold water cases is commonly oreffered to as:
D. Thermal Shock
3) When boating on cold water, drewssing properly is important. The best clothing of thte cold is:
A. A single heavy layer of tight clothing
B. A single layer of loose bulky clothing
C. Several layers of light clothing
D. Anything, as long as youre comfortable
4) Wearing your life jacket when boating on cold water is an extra precaution because:
A. It is extremely difficult to put on a device in cold water
B. The life jacket provides extra insulation
C. It is easier to spot an indiviedual wearing a life jacket in the water
D. All of the above
5) Your survival time in cold water depends largely on two factors:
A. Water temperature and air temperatures
B. Water temperature and the behavior of the victim
C. Swimming ability and size of the victim
D. Drown proofing and treading
6) The most effective technique to help increase survival time in cold water is:
A. Holding the inner side of the upper arms tight against the side of the chest. With thighs pressed togehter and raised to close of the groin. Head out of the water.
B. Continuous movements of arms and legs in various patterns keeping the head high out of the water
C. Restful floating, lungs full of iar, face in the water periodically lifting head for a breath of air
D. Swimming in a small circle to keep warm
7) The first sign of cold exposure is:
B. Uncontrollable shivering
D. Muscular rigidity
8) Treatment for hypothermia depends on a persons condition, but in less severe cases the general rule is:
A. Get the person out of the water and protect from further heat loss; you can rewarm with warm drink such as coffee, hot chocolate, or soup if the person is shivering.
B. Massage the extremeties vigorously
C. Give the vctim whiskey or another strong alcoholic drink
D. Force the person to run or exercise.
ANSWERS TO "THE COLD WATER TEST"
1) (D) 70 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.
This one is difficult even for the experts to define. It is estimated to be arund and under the temperature of 70 degrees F. However, this could vary in each case due to the specific circumstances and physical conditions of the person involved.
2) (B) HYPOTHERMIA
Hypothermia is coined from two Greek words, HYPO (low) and THERM (heat). Wool, pile, and polyprolene povide warmth even when wet. Hence the term Hypothermia (low heat) herein applying to decreased body heat.
3) (C) SEVERAL LAYERS OF LIGHT CLOTHING.
This will offer better protection than a single heavy layer. Wear a hat! We lose 50% of our heat through our head.
4) (D) ALL OF THE ABOVE
All the answers given are excellent reasons for wearing a life jacket and could save your life. Water doesnt need to be cold to wear a life jacket. A life jacket helps protect us from drowning anytime we are on the water.
5) (B) WATER TEMPERATURES AND THE BEHAVIOR OF THE VICTIM
This is based on heat loss. The colder the water the greater the absorption of body heat. In addition if movement is kept to a minimum this reduces the amount of heat generated and loss from the body. Threfore, one could in fact lengthen their survival time by behavior, which involves little movement.
6) (A) HOLDING THE INNER SIDE OF THE UPPER ARMS TIGHT AGAINST THE SIDE OF THE CHEST. WITH THIGHS PRESSED TOGETHER AND RAISED TO CLOSE OFF THE GROIN REGION.
This method is called H.E.L.P. (Heat Escape Lessening Posture). It protects the regions of the body which are the critical areas for heat loss, the side of the chest and groin area (the head also has a high rate of heat loss but it is held up out of the water). One must be wearing a life jacket for this to work properly.
7) (B) UNCONTROLLABLE SHIVERING.
Shivering is a reflex mechanism used by the body to produce heat.
8) (A) GET THE PERSON OUT OF THE WATER AND PROTECT FROM FURTHER HEAT LOSS; YOU CAN REWARM WITH WARM DRINK SUCH AS COFFEE, HOT CHOCOLATE, OR SOUP IF THE PERSON IS CONSCIOUS AND SHIVERING.
Never give alcohol. Do not massage the arms or legs, it could complicate matters by circulating extremely cold blood to the heart. For this same reason, do not force the person to exercise. This heart is in a sensitive condition.
This test focuses on basic information that all boaters should know before using their boat in early spring. Know the dangers of cold water, prepare yourself appropriately and remember to Wear Your Life Jacket. Boat Smart From The Start.
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