In spite of modern lifesaving equipment deaths after shipwreck usually result from cold, rather than drowning, during partial immersion. This paper describes how this fact was realized during the 1939-45 war and subsequent peacetime accidents, and how experiments have shown that action taken by people while they are in the water largely determines whether they survive. In particular, retention of conventional thick clothing and avoidance of exercise both greatly retard loss of body heat in cold water. In practice, most shipwreck victims remove clothing, and exercise in the belief that it will keep them warm. Training and emergency procedures are proposed in order to ensure that clear and accurate advice will be provided on these points when ships are abandoned and that information on avoidance of other hazards of cold immersion will be generally available in the Merchant Navy. It appears that effective application of measures of this kind can do at least as much as improvements in equipment to reduce loss of life at sea.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Fuel and Metallurgical Journals Limited

    John Adam House, John Adam Street
    London WC2N 6JH,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Keatinge, W R
  • Publication Date: 1976-3

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131509
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Fuel and Metallurgical Journals Limited
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM