Saturday, April 26, 2014

What Does it Feel like to Drown?

"What would it feel like to drown?" This is a question that just about every person who spends a good deal of time on the water wonders.  I've heard that it's actually a pretty peaceful way to go when it's all said and done; after all we came from water in the womb, so it seems perfectly natural that to water we would return...I guess there's some poetry in that.  I once saved the life of a drowning woman off the coast of El Salvador.  She was unresponsive by the time I got to her, but had suffered an asthma attack in the huge surf and then, after putting up a (panicky) fight, she said she just "let go" (went unconscious) and everything was "calm and peaceful".  That was until I got her to the beach where CPR was frantically performed and she "came to" again.  But anyway, that's besides the point...

Luckily, few of us will ever know intimately the experience of drowning, but one French filmmaker set out to show people what it might look and feel like to drown.  It's an interactive web movie and pretty intense.  I lasted about 4 minutes before I succumbed to the watery depths - but then again, I had two babies crying for me so I was distracted.  How long will you last?  See for yourself.

A couple takeaways from the video that are worth noting:

  • How quickly things go from hunky dory to hellish (such is life on a boat)
  • How fast the boat disappears on the horizon despite it being a pretty calm day
  • The importance of making sure every crew member knows how to control the vessel
  • The importance of having man overboard procedures in place
This video really drove those points home for me.  

What do you think?  Ever had a close call on the water?


Jake DiMare said...

Couldn't agree more on your observations. Every season starts with man overboard drills here in Boston...Particularly since the water temperature here makes a MOB potentially lethal in a matter of minutes until June.

Anonymous said...

Wow, very interesting. Yes, when I was four and half I was caught in an undertow just off of the Gulf of Mexico. Definitely taught me to respect the ocean, it doesn't take much!

Unknown said...

For those of us living aboard and sailing all the time there is always that constant worry of falling overboard, especially at night when you are on watch alone and tired.
It shows how quickly the boat will disappear. Thank you for sharing.

Jessica said...

I was just about to take this simulator, I got on the site and everything, and then I realized that I'm about to cross an ocean in two weeks. I don't want that going through my mind while I'm in a squall 1,000 miles from land. Maybe when we're wintering in Turkey, haha, that will be a good time to test it out.

Tina said...

What do you feel when you save that woman, it must be awesome. The movie was pretty intense indeed, lasted 5mins. thanks for sharing..

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