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Old 05-14-2017, 09:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
The importance of wearing a PFD

Cold water kills. I'm always amazed how many paddlers I see not wearing a life jacket in May, worse yet in April!
20-year-old dies when canoe capsized on Lake Placid.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:01 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NY State
Posts: 815
Canoe vs kayak

I have probably incorrectly assumed in cold water that capsized canoers vs. kayakers stand a better chance since their head doesn't necessarily get fully immersed and subject to cold water shock response. But perhaps cold water shock isn't limited to an immersed head and is just as serious with body immersion.

In this specific fatality we don't know about swimming capability vs shock onset....but so sad no matter what.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:22 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
From the New York State Boater's Guide:
"Paddlers and sportsmen often boat dur
ing the early and late seasons when water
temperatures are cold. Boaters are required
by law to wear a life jacket from Nov. 1 to
May 1 on all boats less than 21 feet when
underway. In addition a boater should dress
for the water, not the air temperature, as
a boater who capsizes or swamps in cold
water can be in an immediate life threaten-
ing situation. Cold water immersion has
four phases: upon immersion cold shock
occurs which can include involuntary gasping, hyperventilation, panic, and
possible cardiac arrest. Between 3 to 30 minutes later swimming failure
may occur as muscles and nerves quickly cool and the victim loses motor
control along with the ability to self rescue. Next, hypothermia, typically
occurs after 30 minutes in the water which can then lead to unconscious-
ness and death. Last is post-immersion collapse. This can occur during or
after rescue due to damage to lungs and heart as cold blood returns to the
core area from the arms and legs"
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:05 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 74
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
Vinegar's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 152
Always have it, always wear it.

I'm a good swimmer, but that won't help if I'm knocked unconscious during a spill. If I have to also rescue my friend who wasn't wearing theirs, I'll thank the PFD. I could have it in the boat, but what happens when I'me dumped and separated from it? And having practiced putting it on when already in the water, it's not as easy as it sounds?

Never know what's going to happen. Always wear it.
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