What if you fall in the lake in November?
An analyst checks the core temperature of an RCMP officer wearing a floater suit during a Cold Water Boot Camp in Port Credit.
The images in this post come courtesy of Ian Gilson, on the board of directors for the Canadian Safe Boating Council.
On Friday, the council and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police co-sponsored a Cold Water Boot Camp in Port Credit, Mississauga.
That meant seven lucky volunteers, dressed in everything from civilian clothing to a thermal suit, went into the water for varying times -- up to 45 minutes.
The water was about 7 C, so the people “with no protection obviously aren’t going to last that long before saying get me out of there,” said Gilson.
The workshop was for first responders, so the group getting wet was from such organizations as Army Rangers, the RCMP, the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Barrie Fire, Toronto Police Marine, Peel Marine and the Ontario Provincial Police.
In cold water people can become quickly confused and lose coordination. So getting them out quickly is key and can be more difficult.
Gilson said everyone who went in swallowed a thermometer and if their temperature dropped from about 37 C to about 35 C they would have been yanked.
An analyst checked the core temperature of participants.
“The temperature is read from a capsule ingested earlier in the day that registers the person’s core temperature,” he said.
This is the second event of its kind. The first workshop a few years ago was turned into a CD for the public to warn them of the dangers of hypothermia.
I'm hoping at some point to get some first-hand experience with cold water training. Pretty sure that if the opportunity came for me to take a dunk in the lake - especially considering that this time of year the temperature is going to do nothing but drop - I would ask for the special suit.
But what happens if you fall into water below 15 C?
According to Transport Canada there are four clear stages “in which death can occur.” Below is a summary of the points laid out in the report.
1. Cold shock, which can kill within 3 to 5 minutes after you go in. This often relates to heart and respiratory problems
2. Swimming failure, which can kill within 30 minutes after you fall in, as your physical performance becomes impaired
3. Hypothermia, you lose strength and coordination and drown
4. Post rescue collapse, which often relates to the collapse of arterial blood pressure leading to cardiac arrest