How To Stay Afloat In Open Water
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What can one do, to survive and stay afloat in water? It does not matter if its a lake or the ocean the survival principles are the same. You may also want to check out the post on how to survive on a island, just in case you find yourself on one. Another great resource you can check out is the post on how to turn your pants into a life jacket.

Before tackling how to actually stay afloat and not drown, lets look at the other factor in play, which is hypothermia. The good thing is that in both situations, you have to try to stay calm and avoid panicking. Apparently your head and parts above your shoulders are responsible for 50% of your heat loss. With this in mind you are going to have to try use your life jacket to keep your head above water as much as possible

How To Stay Afloat In Open Water

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There are two positions that you can adopt in this situation. If you are alone, with a life jacket then to slow down heat loss, adopt the H.E.L.P also known as the Heat Escape Lessening Posture. Your arms crossed across your chest and above your life jacket. Your feet are also crossed at the ankles, bend your legs at the knees. Relax your head backwards and try to stay afloat using the life jacket. When you are not alone, then ‘hurdling up’ is what the group has to do. This involves floating in a circle around each other, in an upright position almost like you are standing upright on the ground.

Photo credit: marineinsight.com

Staying afloat without a life jacket, is a four step process. First step, is floating upright in the water, with head above the water and you take a deep breath. Second step, you lower the face into the water, with mouth closed and arms resting in the forward position at water level. The third step is easy, you just relax as much as possible in this position until you run out of air. The last step, the head is raised whilst trending with your legs, then make sure you exhale first before taking another deep breath. Repeat this for as long as you can or until you are rescued.

If you are lucky enough to be close to land, and you have enough energy you could try swimming towards land. Swim sideways or backwards when wearing a life jacket. Without a life jacket then the above mentioned floating method, can slowly propel you forwards using buoyancy. Ultimately, it is possible to survive an emergency situation out on the water, just be prepared and most importantly try to stay calm.

You can get more information on the Marine Insight blog, here…

How To Stay Afloat In Water

You can watch the video below on how to achieve natural buoyancy…

You can watch the video below on PFD’s H.E.L.P. & Huddle Positions…

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