Cold Shock

Cold water shock is caused when you enter water below around 15 degrees, especially unexpectedly. The cold water can lead to gasping, hyperventilation and being really difficult to swim.

There are some things that we can do to help manage it.

  • Be prepared. Know what may happen. Get used to being in the water under controlled conditions, and know whether you are going on the water. Over 50% of casualties were not expecting to go into the water as they were walking, cycling or undertaking other similar activities.
  • Dress appropriately. Use clothing such as wetsuits,
  • Float – ALWAYS wear buoyancy.
  • Float – when you fall in, take a moment to float, to calm your breathing & to orientate yourself.

The RYA, RNLI, RLSS and Professor Mike Tipton have some good advice

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