Chapter 4 Review — Emergency Preparedness —Continued
The danger for hypothermia is greatest in cold water and can best be described as a drop in body temperature below the normal level. Symptoms range from mild to severe. As the body's core temperature falls, the victim will experience extreme shivering, and if untreated will eventually lapse into unconsciousness.
When re-warming, be sure to do so slowly; be sure NOT to rub your body vigorously, use your body heat, a portable heater (if available) or towels/blankets. Re-warming slowly and gradually will help to prevent shock.
HEAT ESCAPE LESSENING POSTURE (H.E.L.P.)
A technique used to slow the loss of heat from the body's core. If you are alone, in an emergency situation, cross your arms tightly against your chest and bring your knees up close to the chest.
If a group of people should fall into cold water and immediate rescue is not available, they can use the 'Huddle' technique to stay warm; huddle together with arms around each other and legs intertwined.
FIRE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Gasoline fumes are heavier than air. Fires need three things: (1) heat (like a match or spark), (2) oxygen (air) and (3) fuel (gasoline, propane, etc.). Removing any of the aforementioned elements can extinguish the fire.
IF YOUR BOAT IS UNDERWAY AND A FIRE STARTS:
STOP the engine immediately — this should always be your FIRST action!
Position the boat so the wind will blow the fire away from it.
Try to separate the fuel source from the fire.
USING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER:
Aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Use a sweeping motion and aim at the base of the fire.
Don't stop until the fire is COMPLETELY out.
Running aground is a common occurrence among boaters. Surprisingly, most accidents occur during calm, clear weather with light winds.
TO PREVENT RUNNING AGROUND:
Obtain a nautical chart for new or unfamiliar waterways, or seek advice and knowledge from local marinas and boaters before heading out.
Pay attention to marker buoys indicating shallow water.
Maintain a safe speed.
SHOULD YOU GROUND YOUR BOAT, FOLLOW THESE TIPS:
If you have serious damage, stay aground and signal for assistance.
If you are involved in an accident, you are required to:
Identify yourself and your boat.
Provide assistance, if possible and warranted.
Take down pertinent information with dates, time, and conditions.