Cold Water Shock
Cold water – shocking and deadly
(NC)—Cold water shock is thought to cause more deaths than
hypothermia. Be aware of the dangers of sudden, unexpected immersion in water below 15 degrees
Celsius. Even strong swimmers experience rapid exhaustion from cold shock.
The sudden exposure to the cold water could
make you gasp for breath, swallow water and choke. You could also experience breathing
difficulties, muscle spasms, a rise in your heart rate and blood pressure, and a heart attack or
stroke. If you fall in cold water, it will be crucial for you to conserve energy and body heat.
Struggling to stay afloat will tire you and cause you to lose valuable energy.
Wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation
device (PFD) could save your life. A PFD can keep you afloat while you gain control of breathing
and prevent drowning from loss of muscle control. Expect the unexpected and wear your PFD at all
times. Once you're in the water, it may be too late.
More information on cold shock and hypothermia
is available at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca or call toll-free -
News Canada www.newscanada.com
For further information and to view a video, visit
Cold Water Boot Camp
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