Open Water Swimming Dangers Ironman Triathlon



Dangers of open water swimming.

RIP TIDES

This can be caused when two currents come together and meet at the beach and the rip tide will be a channel of fast flowing water out to sea. One sign could be sand being carried out to sea as if it was a river.

The best advice would be to swim with the current rather than try and fight it then wait for the current speed and strength to reduce and swim away from the centre and back to safety. Often trying to fight the current causes panic and fatigue to happen very quickly.

WHIRPOOLS
These are very dangerous and can spin 100ft boats around in circles.

They are like tornado only in the water and on a much larger scale than the you see when your remove the plug from a bath. The circular speed can be from 10-15 mph (16-24kmph) and is three times faster than most rip tides that why they are often the most deadly natural water features.
Water moves round in a circle and it is difficult to escape, often an undercurrent will drag down your legs and body in the water.

COLD SHOCK
Exposure to the head and chest results in a sudden increase in the heart rate and blood pressure which can result in a cardiac arrest.

When a person suffers from cold shock the swimmer can inhale water due to involuntary gasping reflex.

Immediate loss of consciousness will result in drowning.

Do not take risks-Remember you do not have second chance!

HYPPTHERMIA
is a decrease in body temperature not as quick a cold shock but varies in speed depending on many factors.

How long can you stay conscious all depends many factors like the clothing you are wearing?
50 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature you can stay conscious for 2-3 hours.
40 degree Fahrenheit water temperature you can stay conscious for up to 60 minutes.

Movement in the water accelerates heat loss and survival time is reduced to just minutes. Hands and feet soon become numb and useless and you will be unable to hang onto anything. After shivering occurs breathing rates increase so you are gasping which can in itself result in becoming unconscious. You must control your breathing rate at all costs.

Wearing a wetsuit in such cold conditions hands and feet eventually become useless.
At 93 F/ 33.9 C
Muscle stiffness and rigidity happens at 93 degrees F mental capacity deteriorates once your core temperature drops lower than 93 degrees.

86 degrees F / 30 degrees C
Once the body core temperature reaches 86 degrees F /30 degrees C unconsciousness will happen.

80 degrees F /26.7 degrees C if you still manage to survive then death will happen at 80 degrees F /26.7 degrees C.

You can still suffer from hypothermia and die form the cold in the warm weather if you are immersed in cold water as your body temperature will drop.

I.C.E (IN CASE OF EMERGENCY)
Follow the H.E.L.P position (Heat Escape lesser posture) for survival.

On your own.
In cold water fold arms , cross legs and float quietly until help arrives.
Two or more people
Stay still and close together and huddle together.