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Old 25-02-2020, 05:43   #1
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SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

“Lost at sea: the medicine, physiology and psychology of prolonged immersion.” ~ by H. Massey et al
In February 2006, Robert Hewitt was scuba diving near Mana Island, off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Hewitt was an experienced navy diving instructor with 20 years in the service, and he told his dive buddy that he would swim back to shore himself. Instead, when he next surfaced, he had been pulled several hundred meters away by a strong current. The dive boat had moved on, and Hewitt was left alone, the tide pushing him farther and farther from shore.
Rob Hewitt survived for 75 hours, alone in the cold water.
Heather Massey’s 2017 article * describes Hewitt’s progressive deterioration over the next four days and three nights, how he survived, and what took place after his eventual rescue. It’s an interesting glimpse at a branch of extreme physiology that most of us hope we’ll never encounter.
The most pressing challenge facing Hewitt was the water temperature of 61 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 17 degrees Celsius), well below body temperature. According to physiological models, when water is 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), the median survival time is between 4.8 and 7.7 hours. Amazingly, Hewitt spent the next 75 hours in the water, drifting back and forth over a distance of nearly 40 miles, before he was spotted by Navy diving friends and rescued.
* ➥ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6706340/
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Old 25-02-2020, 07:01   #2
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

Fascinating article. Thanks for posting, GordMay!
Notable takeaways:
- Learned something new: During a lost scenario with limited fresh water supply, minimize water consumption on first day to stimulate body's water conservation mechanisms.
- A reminder that experience can lead to risk assessment mistakes a novice would not make, in this case diving alone with plans to swim to shore with no safety observer. “In some ways Rob almost contributed to his own demise. He took some short cuts”
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Old 09-03-2020, 17:49   #3
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

This was an incredible article with the most authoritative info I have ever seen regarding specific survival techniques. There is very little specific info on the best techniques to survive in different scenarios. The first major event of this kind I think was the sinking of the USS INDIANAPOLIS in WW-II in which several hundred sailors were dumped in the water and a small percentage survived to rescue six days later.
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Old 09-03-2020, 23:40   #4
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

Agreed. That was superbly detailed down to the "whole body of sea lice eating his macerated skin." I'm going to have dreams about that one. The only thing they missed is the use of a simple mirror signaling device, which is highly effective for getting attention to nearby planes (which others reported in similar situations they could see the plans but the people in the planes could not see them). A mirror is cheap and durable, can be stashed in a pocket, doesn't require batteries or a subscription, is easily deployed when needed, and can produce a focused signal flash from quite a long distance away.
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Old 09-03-2020, 23:45   #5
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Agreed. That was superbly detailed down to the "whole body of sea lice eating his macerated skin." I'm going to have dreams about that one. The only thing they missed is the use of a simple mirror signaling device, which is highly effective for getting attention to nearby planes (which others reported in similar situations they could see the plans but the people in the planes could not see them). A mirror is cheap and durable, can be stashed in a pocket, doesn't require batteries or a subscription, is easily deployed when needed, and can produce a focused signal flash from quite a long distance away.
I'm just quoting this so y'all can read it again: it is practical, good sense.

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Old 10-03-2020, 00:39   #6
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRobertJr View Post
Notable takeaways:
- Learned something new: During a lost scenario with limited fresh water supply, minimize water consumption on first day to stimulate body's water conservation mechanisms.
ANOTHER. That eating any food at all depletes the water reserve in the body and that eating PROTEIN depletes the water reserve way more than
other types of food. SO, if the available water resource is limited, then it is best not to eat at all for up to a week or more and when you finally do eat do not eat meat/fish etc. if you have a choice and water is in extremely short supply.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:28   #7
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

For those who found the article interesting, I'll recommend a book along the same lines.
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why*by Laurence Gonzales
The author reviews many actual survival (and not) scenarios, and merges those stories with psychology to help explain what happens mentally during these situations, what bad decisions led to the crisis in the first place, and what people can do mentally to increase the odds of survival. Some of the psychology science was a little too deep for me, but the stories were incredible.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:38   #8
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
“Lost at sea: the medicine, physiology and psychology of prolonged immersion.” ~ by H. Massey et al
In February 2006, Robert Hewitt was scuba diving near Mana Island, off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Hewitt was an experienced navy diving instructor with 20 years in the service, and he told his dive buddy that he would swim back to shore himself. Instead, when he next surfaced, he had been pulled several hundred meters away by a strong current. The dive boat had moved on, and Hewitt was left alone, the tide pushing him farther and farther from shore.
Rob Hewitt survived for 75 hours, alone in the cold water.
Heather Massey’s 2017 article * describes Hewitt’s progressive deterioration over the next four days and three nights, how he survived, and what took place after his eventual rescue. It’s an interesting glimpse at a branch of extreme physiology that most of us hope we’ll never encounter.
The most pressing challenge facing Hewitt was the water temperature of 61 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 17 degrees Celsius), well below body temperature. According to physiological models, when water is 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), the median survival time is between 4.8 and 7.7 hours. Amazingly, Hewitt spent the next 75 hours in the water, drifting back and forth over a distance of nearly 40 miles, before he was spotted by Navy diving friends and rescued.
* ➥ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6706340/

Some years ago there was a story about a navy seaman who was blown off the deck of an aircraft carrier at night

They looked for him but no luck . Lost at sea

Turns out the clever navy seaman tied his clothing into a knot
Blew into the bundle to make a floatation device and survived until he was spotted and rescued the next day
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:49   #9
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

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Turns out the clever navy seaman tied his clothing into a knot
Blew into the bundle to make a floatation device and survived until he was spotted and rescued the next day
I remember practicing this in US Navy training or maybe it was Boy Scouts. Not an easy thing to do, but could be better than nothing.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:34   #10
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Re: SURVIVAL - 75 Hours Alone In The Water

"Lifesling case histories" is about 100 man- overboard cases, not all involving "Lifesling ." Internet search.
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