National Boating Safety: Hypothermia - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

National Boating Safety: Hypothermia

National safe boating week continues with the topic of hypothermia... wearing a personal flotation device or life jacket in the water is the key to survival.

These will allow you to float with a minimum of energy expended and allows you to fight hypothermia in the water. But you must remember to utilize the heat escape lessening position...also known as help.

Hypothermia is a condition in which the core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions. this occurs at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If exposed to cold the internal mechanisms of you body are unable to replenish the heat that is being lost...and a drop in your core temperature can occur.

As body temperature decreases...characteristic symptoms occur such as shivering and mental confusion since heat is lost more quickly in water than on land. a water temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit can often leads to death in one hour if hypothermia occurs...and at water temperatures near freezing can lead to death in as little as 15 minutes.

Even water at a seemingly warm temperature...such as 79 degrees Fahrenheit...after a long exposure can also lead to hypothermia. to help in preventing hypothermia should you become submerged in the water...huddle together with others with all wearing their life jacket. if you are alone...make your body as small as you can...wrapping yourself in the life jacket as much as possible. Keep your head out of the water.

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