Let's look at the cold, hard Facts about cold water immersion. Many studies have been done to determine why so many drowning deaths occur as a result of falling into cold water. If you look at the statistics below, it seems that in a lot of cases these tragedies should not have happened given the fact that most were good swimmers and were within a short distance from safety - the shore, a boat, a dock, etc.
The CSBC "Will it Float" study
authored by SMARTRISK
One question the study asked was:
"Why not wear a lifejacket?"
In 2004, 410 people drowned in Canada,
130 were boating.
60% drowned in water under 10 degrees C
34% drowned in water between 10 Ė 20 degrees C
Only 12% were properly wearing a lifejacket
2% were improperly wearing a lifejacket
DISTANCE FROM SHORE
43% were less than 2 metres from shore/safety *
66% were less than 15 metres from shore/safety*
*shore, boat, dock, etc.
HOW THEY ENDED UP IN THE WATER
26% fell or were thrown overboard
48% were in a boat that capsized or was swamped
Non-swimmer = 29%
Weak = 15%
Average = 12%
Strong = 10%
Not identified = 34%