Cold water shock causes involuntary body reactions that can be as swift as they are deadly – meaning your ability to swim well has no impact on your survival. It is far deadlier than Hypothermia, yet far less understood by boaters.
Cold water shock is a real danger in temperatures below 15°C. If you do find yourself in the water, the right clothing and a lifejacket may save your life.
When the body is immersed in cold water, your core temperature immediately drops prompting a number of physiological responses. These responses rapidly incapacitate you, which can result in fatalities.
What happens with cold water shock?
When experiencing cold water shock, the biggest danger is inhaling water and drowning. Cold water shock triggers hyperventilation, an immediate loss in breathing control, which causes water to be inhaled into the lungs. Read on.