With immediate effect Man Overboard training on all practical courses should include discussion of the dangers of cold water shock for the casualty immediately upon entering the water.
The general teaching points are:
- You will likely gasp for air, then breath rapidly.
- Can only hold breath for seconds so protect your airway from waves and spray.
- Your heart will be working harder, so don’t try to swim, just relax!
- The effects will be at its worst in the first 30 seconds but will have gone within 3 minutes.