"The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach.
“I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar.
“We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten?"
The above excerpt comes from a two-part story from USCG safety specialist Mario Vittone, and both parts deserve a good read from everyone who spends any time at all on the water. You can find Part One: "The Truth About Cold Water," here, and Part Two, "Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning," here. Finally, below is an eye-opening video about cold water survival that anyone sailing in coldwater locales shouldn’t miss. Remember: It is impossible to die from hypothermia in cold water unless you are wearing flotation, because without flotation – you won’t live long enough to become hypothermic.
Thanks to Moose McClintock for getting the word out. Talk about it here.