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Whale Capsizes Canoe: Massachusetts, USA

So approximately 12% of the 1.2 per 100000 people who drowned were wearing a life jacket. That implies these people died of other causes such as hypothermia. So we are talking about 0.2 drownings per 100000 where hypothermia was likely a factor and immersion gear might have made a difference.
Your logic is faulty. You are implying that none of the 88% died of hypothermia. This surmise is unsupported by the data.
 
Your logic is faulty. You are implying that none of the 88% died of hypothermia. This surmise is unsupported by the data.

True enough. There is no data that says how many actually die of hypothermia. If you read the reference material though the implication is that if you are not wearing a life jacket you likely won't live long enough to die of hypothermia.
 
Agreed. I hazard a guess that kayakers are a special case in that we go in the water head first when we capsize, and we may be exposed to the water temperature approx 3 feet down. So there is a higher potential for cold shock than say someone who tips over in a canoe but keeps their head above water. In my understanding, it has only been in the last 20 years that kayakers have bought into the idea that immersion clothing is important. I suspect the book Deep Trouble helped bring about this change.
 
The Gasp Reflex

Loss of breathing control begins the moment water makes contact with the skin, triggering a series of huge involuntary gasps for air. If your head is underwater when you gasp, you will immediately drown. Example: Oct. 1987, Water temperature: 41°F. Fit paddler, calm waters, folding double kayak with 36" beam. Found hanging upside down in his boat, having made no attempt to exit. Not dressed for immersion.

Have you ever been in the shower when the hot water stops and cold water continues? The uncontrolled gasp is what we worry about. Don't think you can control the gasp reflex, it is a physiological reflex. The only way to protect against the gasp reflex is to dress properly with full head gear including wet suit hood, nose clips and ear plugs. This is a subject we are still learning about and all the facts are not in.
from Atlantic Kayak Tours

Hypothermia is a secondary, but no less serious threat. If alone and not dressed properly, you may have only 5-10 minutes before your hands become too numb for you to get back in your kayak.
from Great Bay Paddlers

All sea kayakers should be aware of the dangers of cold water. A pfd combined with immersion clothing will greatly reduce the danger.
 
Wearing a dry suit, without proper clothing beneath is not protection from cold shock.

http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages ... er-2.shtml

Thanks for the reference Nootka. Kind of makes the point.

Example: Oct. 1987, Water temperature: 41°F. Fit paddler, calm waters, folding double kayak with 36" beam. Found hanging upside down in his boat, having made no attempt to exit.

http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages ... er-2.shtml

That is a good point. We kayakers do end up under water with the requirement to deliberately wet exit.

The only way to protect against the gasp reflex is to dress properly with full head gear including wet suit hood, nose clips and ear plugs.

http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages ... er-2.shtml

Looks like we just raised the bar.
 
I consider the hood to be important. When my peers go to Surge Narrows, everyone wears a hood. I keep a hood handy while kayaking, but do not wear it unless there is a non-trivial possibility of a dunking.

Those who don't want a sinus flush wear noseplugs, but noseplugs are not required if you are used to slowly breathing out while underwater. One way to cultivate this habit is to wear noseclips that do not quite close off your nose. You must breathe out a small amount to make the noseclip work.

Earplugs are not as essential. If the water is very cold, they will prevent surfer's ear. If the hood allows seepage but prevents flushing, one can forego the earplugs in warmer water. I rarely wear earplugs with a tuilik, I sometimes wear them with a hood.

One must weigh the probability of getting wet with the benefits and inconvenience of the hood, noseplugs, & earplugs. When it is important to hear seaplanes coming in for a landing, earplugs would be a liability.
 
Dubside-I've got no idea what kind of earplugs you've got that can block out a floatplane-but send some my way!

I'm surprised alcohol hasn't been brought up in this discussion, next to not wearing a life jacket, it's the next most common factor in boating related fatalities.
To add to the list of what can happen upon sudden immersion in cold water, should be having a heart attack-this according to a friend who was a lifeguard. My theory on this one is that lots of practice will lessen the odds of this one happening...!

On a final note, I'll just say that we're being asked to wear a life jacket/pfd to a funeral this weekend. Inflatable lifejackets do require that you be concsious in order to deploy them-so sad...
 
Dubside-I've got no idea what kind of earplugs you've got that can block out a floatplane-but send some my way!
I'm afraid I am not nearly as talented as Dubside.
I launch often at the Tyee Spit in Campbell River. I like to be able to hear the floatplanes when they start their descent. This lets me try to get out of the way; I only have a minute or two before they land. I hope they can see my orange yak; but I don't count on it.
 
Sorry-I see now it was a quote at the bottom of the page. Float planes are supposed to fly over their landing spot-to make sure no logs, or jet skis or other debris are not in the way...I don't know of any earplugs that could block that noise. I guess if you had a quiet one sneaking up from behind and a head wind...
I'm thinking that in trafficked areas, it would be like the wearing an ipod while driving a car-illegal or at least ill advised not to have full use of your hearing.
 
Tyee Spit in Campbell River

The pilots don't want you trying to get out of the way. They want you to maintain course so they have some predictability for their landing.

The light at the end of the Tyee spit starts flashing when planes are making an approach to landing.

Not sure where I heard it but I think it was from a very experienced local sailor at the CPS boating course.
 
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