The importance of horizontal recovery

People in the water should be recovered as horizontal as possible to avoid aggravation of injuries.
From being in the water, the casualty`s body will contain both warm blood and very cold blood. As a result the heart has a decreased ability to speed up when needed. Furthermore, the veins and nervous systems are altered and so they may be very close to a significant heart malfunction. They are fragile – and must be treated carefully. Below are some best practices for the recovery from the water:

Recover them as horizontally as possible: Always lift them out of the water horizontally if possible. The hydrostatic pressure on their body has made it easier for their bodies to maintain blood pressure. However, as soon as they are removed, the heart must work harder, which is difficult for a cold heart.

Don`t make them work for it: Don`t ask them to “pull” themselves in their own rescue if it can be avoided. Remember that they are in a fragile cardiovascular state and climbing a net may be the last thing they ever do.

No walking: They shouldn`t be walking around until they are completely recovered. There are cold water in their limbs and for the time being, you want it to stay there.

For more information read IMO guide to cold water survival

Utviklet av Creative, en del av Yes Group