Today’s Topic: Cold Water Shock. Cold water shock can occur in water below 50 degrees. Roughly 20% of those who fall into cold water die in the first minute of immersion due to shock. Without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and a dry suit, survival of more than 5 minutes is unlikely.
Know the signs!
- Gasping for Breath, Rapid Breathing or Hyperventilating due to the “shock” of sudden immersion.
- Uncontrolled rapid breathing can quickly create a drowning emergency if you inhale water.
- A sudden spike in heart rate and blood pressure can cause heart failure and stroke for vulnerable people.
- Cognitive Impairment Cold shock can cause an immediate panic, fear or stress reaction that then impairs clear thinking and decision making.