The Downtown Boathouse Cold Water Workshop
Highlights, Photos, & Notes on the Cold Water Workshop presented
by the New York Kayak Co. at the Downtown Boathouse, NYC.

Nov. 13, 1999
Page 3
Modifiers of cooling rate in cold water Individual determinants

1. Amount of subcutaneus body fat cooling rate inversely related to fat layer thickness the most powerful determinant

2. Body size and build relationship between body surface area and volume

- tall skinny subjects cool faster; short, fat, build bodies cool more slowly
- children cool faster than adults

3. Ability to shiver vary with fatigue, hypoglycemia, health, muscle mass, alcohol and drug ingestion, age and core temperature

- shivering fails when unconsciousness occurs fatal outcome

4. Gender differences negligible

5. Fitness fit individuals tolerate longer immersion time

Water temperature

1. Very important determinant the colder the water the faster the cooling

Clothing

Insulating properties of the trapped air between the skin and the protective clothing to limit heat loss. The ticker the air layer the greater the insulation.

Types protective clothing

Normally in 50 Modifiers of cooling rate in cold water Individual determinants

1. Amount of subcutaneus body fat cooling rate inversely related to fat layer thickness the most powerful determinant

2. Body size and build relationship between body surface area and volume

- tall skinny subjects cool faster; short, fat, build bodies cool more slowly
- children cool faster than adults

3. Ability to shiver vary with fatigue, hypoglycemia, health, muscle mass, alcohol and drug ingestion, age and core temperature

- shivering fails when unconsciousness occurs fatal outcome

4. Gender differences negligible

5. Fitness fit individuals tolerate longer immersion time

Water temperature

1. Very important determinant the colder the water the faster the cooling

Clothing

Insulating properties of the trapped air between the skin and the protective clothing to limit heat loss. The ticker the air layer the greater the insulation.

Types protective clothing

Normally in SOT water the body T falls by 80 - 40F/hr if no protective clothing is worn. 1. "Wet" suits minimize cooling (cooling rate 4 - O.70FIbr)

- do not exclude but minimize water between skin and garment

2. "Dry" suits significantly minimize cooling (cooling rate 1.4 0.3 0F/br)

- exclude water from access beneath clothing
- use of impermeable wrist, ankle, neck seals and water-tight zippers

 

Alcohol

1. Rate of heat loss is not significantly increase
2. Rate of heat production by shivering is slightly reduced

3.Cooling rate is not significantly

4. Fatigue potentiates thermoregulatory impairment by alcohol
5. Perception of cold is diminished shivering
6. Cold-induced diuresis is -- risk for hypovolemia and dehydration
7. Highly intoxicated individuals die from drowning, not from hypothermia

Food

Usually not a significant factor, but individuals that are food-deprived for long time will cool faster due to depletion of carbohydrate reserves.

Behavior

Has a significant influence on survival and body cooling times exercise increases cooling time 35-50% due to increased blood flow to the muscles during activity and increased water flow under the protective clothing. Holding still minimizes cooling!!!!

1. Hold still H.E.L.P. (Heat Escape Lessening Position) position

2. Adopt fetal position - contact surface of the body
3. Maximize body-to-body contact with other survivors HUDDLE position
4. Maximize the amount of the body parts out of the water

N.B. Heat loss in cold air even in windy conditions is much less than in the water with the same temperature! !!!

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