Hypothermia is when your core body temperature is dangerously low. Hypothermia can cause your body to shut down, and cause a person to become disoriented. This is extremely dangerous while on the water.
Signs and symptoms of early onsets of hypothermia are:
- Faster breathing
- Trouble speaking
- Slight confusion
- Lack of coordination
- Increased heart rate
The signs of severe hyporthermia are:
- Shivering, although as hypothermia worsens, shivering stops
- Weak pulse
- Clumsiness and lack of coordination
- Slurred speech or mumbling
- Confusion and poor decision-making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
- Drowsiness or very low energy
- Lack of concern about one's condition
- Progressive loss of consciousness
- Slow, shallow breathing
If you notice any of these symtoms efecting yourself or anohter sailor it is important to get them off the ater and into a dry, warm location as soon as possible. warm the person up slowly. try not to expose to direct heat right away as intense heat can damage skin tissue. It is important to be careful while moving an effected person since fast, sudden movements can trigger an irregular heartbeat.
There are several ways the body looses heat:
- Radiated heat loss is the most common. Your body loses heat though unprotected skin exposure, the most common are you hands and head.
- Through convection, or, contact. When you come in contact with something cold your bodyheat is transfered lowering your core tempurature.
- Wind. The most prevalent amoung sailors. the wind will remove the layer or warm air around your body causing you to use more engery to keep warm. this is why the wind chill factor is a very importnat elemnt while on the water in cold weather.