Keep Calm and Float on if You Fall in the Sea

By Gary Cutlack on at

Flailing about and shouting for help while trying to hold your phone above the surface of the water is exactly what you should not do if you fall in the sea according to the RNLI, which says that if you accidentally plop off the end of a pier you should try to stay calm and concentrate on serenely floating for a while.

Trying to swim your way out of it ASAP is the wrong thing to do, they say, as this wears you out, stresses the body and makes it more likely you'll breathe in water and start to suffer. Apparently it's best to float for 60-to-90 seconds once you're in, as this lets the body adapt to the stress of the cold and stops your brain from telling your lungs to panic-breathe as hard as possible.

Floating on your back is the way to do it, with your mouth therefore naturally pointing at the air. The RNLI's Ross Macleod said: "We're asking the public to remember this lifesaving advice, share with others and practice the survival skill of floating -- it could be the difference between life and death." [BBC]

Image credit: Unsplash


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