Video: Georgia Cold Water Immersion
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Let’s touch on cold water immersion. I think it’s very deceiving sometimes when it’s warm outside and the water is actually cold. It can actually be a huge shock. What do people need to know to keep themselves safe?
Corporal Julian Wilkins
Oftentimes, being out here on a day like this, you think it’s nice and summery. But if you get into the water, you realize real quick, it’s often cold—very cold. And that will put your body into shock if you fall into it accidentally. You would go into shock, and you’ve got a very short period of time before you lose the functionability of your body while trying to swim back somewhere. So that cold water is definitely hard to function in this time of year.
You’re saying things like hypothermia and stuff like that?
Hypothermia is very quick.
So if you talk to somebody who’s new to boating, I mean, do you ever bring this topic up? Especially, like, boating in the winter? What do you tell them? I’m just curious how you would phrase it to them.
Yeah, I try my best to warn them about that, you know. Keep in mind how cold the water is and how quick you could get into a bad situation if you were to fall in accidentally. Wear the life jacket—wear the life jacket. That’s going to keep you up 100%. And like we like to tell them, keep a spare set of clothing or something you can change into if you were to get in trouble. Because if you fall into the water, you’ve still got to get back to a dock, so that’s going to be more time being cold.
Well, I guess to me the moral of the story is, don’t be deceived by the outside temperature. Know that the water is pretty cold, and you should bring the proper things to keep yourself safe.
That’s right, cold and windy. The wind will also make you a whole lot colder, when the wind’s blowing strong.