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  1. #61
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    It would be ironic if the police officer was still mourning the death of Deputy Cole and decided not to confront a crazy person he didn't know. If someone is determined to kill themselves by doing something a normal thinking person wouldn't do, why would the responsibility lie with anyone other than the person making irrational decisions?

    Your brother was a free person, able to make his own decisions. We don't live in a police state up here in Maine. People are allowed to.make mistakes and pay for them. The onus is not on anyone other than himself.

    I'm sorry your brother came back from the war a changed person. That happens. It's one of the hortors and evils of war.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    As a retired paramedic, and one who has been hauled into court for acting against a patient's wishes, and acting in their best interest (the court eventually agreed with us), I have to ask. At what point do you draw the line. If I, or the police, took it upon ourselves to deny a person's free choice, and restrain them when they choose to do something foolish, we would never be out of court.
    Well said. It is interesting that the people who insist on implementing forced intervention never recognize how often this sort of power has been abused throughout the world. That power comes with a huge price that the responsible people of the world have to pay.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkicam View Post
    Given that you are not one of my family members, your personal opinion on whether or not the police actually did their job that day is entirely irrelevant, particularly given that you are not privy to all of the details.
    As an attorney, do you really think this is the place to hash this out?

    As a former law enforcement officer, I would point out that you are also not privy to all the details because you weren't there when that conversation took place. It could be that the confrontation ended with assurances from your brother that he'd find another way across the Kennebec, just to allay the officers' concerns so that they would leave him alone and he could carry out his plan. There are so many ways this could have happened that it is maddening and pointless to speculate.

    I am truly sorry for your loss and I have contributed to your GoFundMe so that Mike may be returned to your family.

    May he rest in peace, and may you live in peace without malice in your heart.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkicam View Post
    ...........My brother was not inherently reckless, stupid or “rash.” He was a disabled veteran, who suffered from a TBI resulting in mental illness and early onset dementia. ............Michael was a paranoid schizophrenic, an unfortunate byproduct of his brain injury..................
    It seems that this man is an indirect casualty of his wartime service. It is Memorial Day so maybe we should be honoring him for his service and sacrifice rather than arguing about the circumstances of his death. You can go back to arguing tomorrow.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    It seems that this man is an indirect casualty of his wartime service. It is Memorial Day so maybe we should be honoring him for his service and sacrifice rather than arguing about the circumstances of his death. You can go back to arguing tomorrow.
    The only intelligent and sensitive post on this thread. Nikkicam, to you and your family I offer my deepest condolences and salute your brother's service to our country.

    I'd also like to share with the forum this article from The Trek which includes information on funds set up for your family and in support of other injured officers. https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail...ennebec-river/

  6. #66
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    First off my condolences to Nikkicam and her family.

    I don't think it's disrespectful to discuss this incident however and that the "only intelligent" response is to not talk about it. As others have said I think it would be a shame to not try to learn from this tragic incident and perhaps save the next person. I know that I was only vaguely aware of the dangers of fording the Kennebec and I've learned a lot from this thread.

    Here's what I can contribute, like Nikkicam I'm also a NJ attorney and while I'm not aware of what area of law she practices but I've worked extensively with law enforcement officers. Generally they are amazing people who have a very difficult job. Also generally speaking a law enforcement officer can't just seize someone because they are going to do something risky, they have to be committing a crime. People have a right to be free from unreasonable seizures - that's a constitutional right.



    However what Nikkicam says is also true that in certain circumstances a law enforcement officer (or in fact anyone) can seek to involuntarily commit someone. This of course is not be done lightly and basically the officer would have to be really confident that the situation merited it. Of course the laws in each state are different in their legal standard. Again generally speaking the officer has to believe the person is mentally ill and is about to cause serious harm to himself or others.


    While I have a lot of empathy for Nikkicam and her family, I also have empathy for this law enforcement officer. And I think that's where some people in this thread have bristled at Nikkicam's very confident placement of blame on this officer. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to hear the officer's side of the story before judging this officer so harshly. I also don't think it's fair to assume that the officer knew this hiker was suffering from a mental illness. Unfortunately there are a lot of people in this world who occasionally act belligerent and it's very difficult to tell whose just having a bad day or who is suffering from a mental illness. Did anyone call to let the law enforcement officers to be on the look out for this hiker and what his situation was? If he was so likely to be defiant when told by someone not to ford a river perhaps a friend or someone he trusted could have hiked with him?


    In New Jersey (and likely elsewhere too) there is a trend towards starting special needs registries. One of the purposes of these voluntary registries is to provide information to law enforcement officers and it would increase their chances of being able to handle a situation appropriately. That's the good news. The bad news is of course that there also appears to be a trend of an overall decrease in funding for beds.


    I've thought a lot about this incident the past couple of days and I think part of what gets people feeling so strongly is at its heart this case is about the right to do something incredibly risky - where should society draw the line and not allow someone to do something dangerous to themselves? I don't think there are any easy answers.


    So thank you Nikkicam for the additional information that you provided in this thread. And on this Memorial Day I want you to know that I appreciate your brother's service and thank you to all our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 29/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  7. #67
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    I am somewhat intrigued by the controversy and history of swimming the Kennebec.

    1) The exaggerated fear shared in this thread and others about becoming hypothermic and drowning in cold water is not surprising, but it is substantially exaggerated. Once you get past the initial shock of cold water immersion (cold water shock, which can certainly lead to people drowning), no healthy, non-panicked person will become disabled by water that is near freezing in less than two minutes. It takes about five to 10 minutes. And yes, I like swimming in cold water, including glacial lakes with ice floating in them - especially on hot summer days.

    2) Any experienced swimmer should be able to swim the width of the Kennebec in less than five minutes as long as they don't waste energy trying to swim against the current. And yes, I also like swimming rivers as long as there is good runout below me so I don't get carried into a dangerous area downstream. And yes, you might get carried 1/4 mile downstream.

    So, to have swimming the Kennebec be dangerous to an experienced swimmer, the swimmer would have to either panic, fail to manage the initial cold-shock, foolishly try to swim against the current to avoid being taken downstream, or be trapped or injured by rocks or other obstacles downstream. Of course, at high water, especially flood stage, the likelihood of being trapped by branches or trees in the water can be horribly high.

    All these risks can be responsibly assessed in most cases. I would be significantly put out if someone told me I could not use my own knowledge and judgment to decide whether or not to swim the Kennebec. Also, if I died after choosing to the swim the Kennebec, I would be very unhappy if anyone tried to blame anyone else (or the river for that matter) for my death. It was my decision. I made the choice. Please let me take full responsibility for taking the risks I choose to take. I think I'd rather risk swimming the Kennebec than drive in downtown Boston!
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I am somewhat intrigued by the controversy and history of swimming the Kennebec.

    1) The exaggerated fear shared in this thread and others about becoming hypothermic and drowning in cold water is not surprising, but it is substantially exaggerated. Once you get past the initial shock of cold water immersion (cold water shock, which can certainly lead to people drowning), no healthy, non-panicked person will become disabled by water that is near freezing in less than two minutes. It takes about five to 10 minutes. And yes, I like swimming in cold water, including glacial lakes with ice floating in them - especially on hot summer days.

    2) Any experienced swimmer should be able to swim the width of the Kennebec in less than five minutes as long as they don't waste energy trying to swim against the current. And yes, I also like swimming rivers as long as there is good runout below me so I don't get carried into a dangerous area downstream. And yes, you might get carried 1/4 mile downstream.

    So, to have swimming the Kennebec be dangerous to an experienced swimmer, the swimmer would have to either panic, fail to manage the initial cold-shock, foolishly try to swim against the current to avoid being taken downstream, or be trapped or injured by rocks or other obstacles downstream. Of course, at high water, especially flood stage, the likelihood of being trapped by branches or trees in the water can be horribly high.

    All these risks can be responsibly assessed in most cases. I would be significantly put out if someone told me I could not use my own knowledge and judgment to decide whether or not to swim the Kennebec. Also, if I died after choosing to the swim the Kennebec, I would be very unhappy if anyone tried to blame anyone else (or the river for that matter) for my death. It was my decision. I made the choice. Please let me take full responsibility for taking the risks I choose to take. I think I'd rather risk swimming the Kennebec than drive in downtown Boston!
    Truth is none of know what happened and likly never will, he could have been hung up on a log or struck, but the conditions you lay out are ideal, do you swim with pack enough to hike a long distance trail? Had you not used the word exaggeration I prolly wouldn’t have even posted, but you do no service to down play a cold water crossing, the fella wasn’t in good mental health...yours is just a ridiculous post.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I am somewhat intrigued by the controversy and history of swimming the Kennebec.

    1) The exaggerated fear shared in this thread and others about becoming hypothermic and drowning in cold water is not surprising, but it is substantially exaggerated. Once you get past the initial shock of cold water immersion (cold water shock, which can certainly lead to people drowning), no healthy, non-panicked person will become disabled by water that is near freezing in less than two minutes. It takes about five to 10 minutes. And yes, I like swimming in cold water, including glacial lakes with ice floating in them - especially on hot summer days.

    2) Any experienced swimmer should be able to swim the width of the Kennebec in less than five minutes as long as they don't waste energy trying to swim against the current. And yes, I also like swimming rivers as long as there is good runout below me so I don't get carried into a dangerous area downstream. And yes, you might get carried 1/4 mile downstream.

    So, to have swimming the Kennebec be dangerous to an experienced swimmer, the swimmer would have to either panic, fail to manage the initial cold-shock, foolishly try to swim against the current to avoid being taken downstream, or be trapped or injured by rocks or other obstacles downstream. Of course, at high water, especially flood stage, the likelihood of being trapped by branches or trees in the water can be horribly high.

    All these risks can be responsibly assessed in most cases. I would be significantly put out if someone told me I could not use my own knowledge and judgment to decide whether or not to swim the Kennebec. Also, if I died after choosing to the swim the Kennebec, I would be very unhappy if anyone tried to blame anyone else (or the river for that matter) for my death. It was my decision. I made the choice. Please let me take full responsibility for taking the risks I choose to take. I think I'd rather risk swimming the Kennebec than drive in downtown Boston!


    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Truth is none of know what happened and likly never will, he could have been hung up on a log or struck, but the conditions you lay out are ideal, do you swim with pack enough to hike a long distance trail? Had you not used the word exaggeration I prolly wouldn’t have even posted, but you do no service to down play a cold water crossing, the fella wasn’t in good mental health...yours is just a ridiculous post.


    There's good info in Nsherry's post but he is downplaying the danger as noted by Rocketsocks. One does NOT need to be hypothermic to drown! Cold shock in itself especially in faster colder water in the 40*'s with immediate complete deep(over one's head) immersion having a backpack and possibly(likely) wearing clothing) has taken the lives of many people. Second, all can't be easily accessed by a mentally stable person never the less someone acting hastily or with a medical mental lapse as to how they will react to cold shock. This is compounded by these factors. Third, the Kennebec was at high water, high flow, and high volume stage; this makes for more current even in areas where fording is typical in a slackish current and probably resulted in an immediate swim, rather than a bit of wading as has been done and then possibly a short swim or short chest deep ford in water during lower volume and warmer water stages. Fourth, if you're still listening, and most importantly, one certainly can lose dexterity in their limbs in 5 mins or less in water 50* f. Currently, on May 27 Kennebec River water temp at noon day is 50*. In late April when this happened water temp was likely in the mid to lower 40's* at mid day.


    http://www.shipwrite.bc.ca/Chilling_truth.htm


    In short, swimming or attempting to deep wade the Kennebec River under the conditions Mike CHOSE to was high risk!


    Again, I almost drowned becoming physically disabled in 2 mins from loss of dexterity and energy in calm cold freshwater brackish water barely over my head wearing boxer briefs as a lean body type teenager. The water temp according to my friends thermometer read 43*f.


    Thanks to Somers post. It was communicated well.


    Likewise, my condolences to your family.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I am somewhat intrigued by the controversy and history of swimming the Kennebec.

    1) The exaggerated fear shared in this thread and others about becoming hypothermic and drowning in cold water is not surprising, but it is substantially exaggerated. Once you get past the initial shock of cold water immersion (cold water shock, which can certainly lead to people drowning), no healthy, non-panicked person will become disabled by water that is near freezing in less than two minutes. It takes about five to 10 minutes. And yes, I like swimming in cold water, including glacial lakes with ice floating in them - especially on hot summer days.

    2) Any experienced swimmer should be able to swim the width of the Kennebec in less than five minutes as long as they don't waste energy trying to swim against the current. And yes, I also like swimming rivers as long as there is good runout below me so I don't get carried into a dangerous area downstream. And yes, you might get carried 1/4 mile downstream.

    So, to have swimming the Kennebec be dangerous to an experienced swimmer, the swimmer would have to either panic, fail to manage the initial cold-shock, foolishly try to swim against the current to avoid being taken downstream, or be trapped or injured by rocks or other obstacles downstream. Of course, at high water, especially flood stage, the likelihood of being trapped by branches or trees in the water can be horribly high.

    All these risks can be responsibly assessed in most cases. I would be significantly put out if someone told me I could not use my own knowledge and judgment to decide whether or not to swim the Kennebec. Also, if I died after choosing to the swim the Kennebec, I would be very unhappy if anyone tried to blame anyone else (or the river for that matter) for my death. It was my decision. I made the choice. Please let me take full responsibility for taking the risks I choose to take. I think I'd rather risk swimming the Kennebec than drive in downtown Boston!
    Amen especially to the bolder part.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  11. #71
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash Berserker's Avatar
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    I want to send my condolences out to the family, and thank Nikki for coming on here and providing some back story.

    Having been a member of WB for 10+ years these types of stories (i.e. a news report on a bad injury or death) get posted all the time, and we are all (including myself) quick to judge without knowing all the information. After my recent foray into one of these type threads (the "Cougar" thread) I quickly remembered why I stay out of these. I know this is the internet and people have the freedom to say what they want. So I just want to nicely request that you think before you type, because you don't know who may read this now or in the future.
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  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I am somewhat intrigued by the controversy and history of swimming the Kennebec.

    1) The exaggerated fear shared in this thread and others about becoming hypothermic and drowning in cold water is not surprising, but it is substantially exaggerated. Once you get past the initial shock of cold water immersion (cold water shock, which can certainly lead to people drowning), no healthy, non-panicked person will become disabled by water that is near freezing in less than two minutes. It takes about five to 10 minutes.
    As I said early in this thread, I personally have seen a person made utterly helpless in a minute or less in near freezing water. Might another person do better? Maybe, depending on circumstances. Polar Bear Plunge people seem to. I have got away with enough foolish decisions in my life already, and don't plan on pushing my luck any further..
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    . . . I personally have seen a person made utterly helpless in a minute or less in near freezing water. . .
    Sure, panic and/or cold-shock could do that, but it could not have been from hypothermia in that length of time. And, if the person can manage to keep panic at bay and their head above water, after the first several seconds to a minute, people can regain control.

    Having jumped into literally freezing water on multiple occasions before, always voluntarily and thus without surprise or panic, I have never experience "cold shock" as described in hypothermia literature, but it is apparently common and resolves within the first minute giving a person 5 to 10 minutes to rescue themselves before hypothermia sets in and disables their ability to move effectively.
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    I've thought a lot about this incident the past couple of days and I think part of what gets people feeling so strongly is at its heart this case is about the right to do something incredibly risky - where should society draw the line and not allow someone to do something dangerous to themselves? I don't think there are any easy answers.

    Wonderful post somers515. I do not think we want or need the government (or its representatives) making the choices for us. (Up until the point that our decisions endanger the life of others). If you want to climb Mt. K after it is closed, or swim the Kennebec River when there is a canoe for crossing or cross the southern balds in thunderstorms or run with the bulls in Pamplona, as long as you put no others at risk, that is a choice that is an individual can and should make for themselves. Let's not ask more of our law enforcement officers than we already do.

  15. #75
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    The NPS has now posted signs at trailheads on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon telling the story of a marathon runner who died hiking in the Canyon. Perhaps the NPS' refusal to post signs here hasto do w/ the wilderness designation of the trail. But then again, I don't want the G posting a sign everyplace in a park where someone has died. There'd be signs all over the place.
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  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Sure, panic and/or cold-shock could do that, but it could not have been from hypothermia in that length of time. And, if the person can manage to keep panic at bay and their head above water, after the first several seconds to a minute, people can regain control.

    Having jumped into literally freezing water on multiple occasions before, always voluntarily and thus without surprise or panic, I have never experience "cold shock" as described in hypothermia literature, but it is apparently common and resolves within the first minute giving a person 5 to 10 minutes to rescue themselves before hypothermia sets in and disables their ability to move effectively.
    http://www.shipwrite.bc.ca/Chilling_truth.htm
    http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_...es/hypothermia

    Might be worth brushing up on the topic for some.

    Something to consider, having had hypothermia experience myself...
    I do generally agree with you, although you are incorrect in that the initial symptoms of hypothermia can occur within seconds. Ask anyone attempting to strike a match or lighter while shivering violently moments after being dunked how long it took. You are not voluntarily shivering, or warming up... your are performing an involuntary action which falls within hypothermia's scope. You can move from initial symptoms to deeper ones in one minute in the right conditions.

    It seems we have both been gifted with either the experience, self awareness, or dumb luck to have been previously put in this situation with that past experience to draw from.
    Not all people are.

    Unfortunately you are assuming two very big "if's"...
    The victim of cold shock or hypothermia is in a good physical position, for a long enough duration of time, to recover and regain control.
    The victim has enough self awareness and mental prowess to do so.
    If that initial gasp is from falling over into cold water, you can add choking and the mental terror of water in your lungs to the pile of unfortunate problems to deal with.
    The mammalian diving reflex isn't called a choice... it's called a reflex because it is involuntary.
    One could argue the simple act of educating yourself and mentally preparing for an experience may indeed be enough to get you started. Your experience of getting prepared to jump into cold water both shielded you somewhat in that initial jump... and added to your pool of past experience to draw upon should such a thing happen unexpectedly. If nothing else... simply being aware of WHAT is happening to you, gives you a big edge in correcting the problem. When people who have no knowledge of hypothermia or what is happening, the panic can quickly spiral.

    What people fail to recognize about hypothermia is that it isn't freezing to death that is the concern.
    If one goes out in zero degree weather then actually freezing to death is a real concern prepared well against and little danger to most travelers.

    The actual danger of hypothermia is ignorance of it and how it works in normal temperatures as high as 65* F.
    The signs are small and subtle, creeping, and often impair judgement without one's knowledge. They are small things... perhaps even a simple choice to proceed to the far shore rather than abort the crossing.
    That slight shiver that leads to a stumble. The minor lack of willpower that leaves you to simply lie there after falling. The creeping stupidity that prevents you from taking positive action.
    It's very similar to being drunk.
    Some folks are better at operating while impaired than others... but that's what hypothermia really is.
    Having a beer is drinking. Being a bit cold is having hypothermia.
    You might not know it until you start getting a bit tipsy... but once you start sipping the cold one you begin to become impaired.

    There is not a hiker here worth their shoes who hasn't stripped down to hiking clothes on a cold morning for the first half hour before they warmed up.
    That's still hypothermia. Mild, under control, jaw clenched to stop yer teeth from rattling and with a clear recovery insight... but hypothermia just the same.
    Hypothermia is a gentle push on the first domino.
    If you are aware of it, it's quite possible to stick a mental finger in and stop the cascade.
    If you are not... it's rare that people give credit where credit is due once all the domino's have fallen.


    Poop occurs. A young gal who works with me is dealing with the fact her 23 year old boyfriend ran under a truck and got his head sliced clean off on the highway yesterday.

    Death is a fact of life, and I have no problem with folks dying for good, bad or dumb reasons.
    An may all continue to have the freedom to make their own choices and live or die by them.

    If you want to offer condolences, do so.

    If you want to review an incident to see if there is something to learn from it... then do so.

    If this dude had a mental issue... then nothing much to learn on a personal level and hopefully he and his family can find some peace.

    If this dude didn't or you want to play the 'if'n it was me' ... odds are probably high that hypothermia kicked over the first domino. From there you can set up any domino's you'd like and play your own game:
    ...cold water, heavy boots, lack of a large pack liner to float his pack, failure to inflate a sleeping pad or use a flotation aide, lack of awareness of fording in general, poor swimming ability, bad timing, dumb luck, panic, shock, hardheadedness, incorrect assessment of physical strengths, machismo, lack of experience, talking to Lone Wolf or Warren Doyle, crossing in Spring rather than Fall, not sitting down for a hot meal or drink before crossing cold water...

    That time of year a person is likely to have a chill (mild hypothermia) just from the ambient air temp and moving all day.
    If nothing else... just think of that 'hold my beer' meme going around. Just a little sip of the cold stuff may have been enough to impair judgement enough to make one small bad choice.
    Maybe the thought to chuck the pack flashed by, but was ignored. Maybe many smart things rattled around in the smart part of his brain but didn't penetrate the dull fog that hypothermia causes.

    It's impossible to say for sure.

    Maybe it was just dumb luck... like the kid who got his head sheared off under a truck.
    Maybe both these folks were just dumbasses and death by idiocy was inevitable.

    Maybe the reason folks get fascinated by these events is that they like to believe that they are special somehow, and won't do anything so dumb as to be one of the 117 people a day who die in a car crash.
    And certainly would never do anything so dumb as to....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    . . .If you want to offer condolences, do so.

    If you want to review an incident to see if there is something to learn from it... then do so. . .
    Exactly to the point. Thank you.

    In this case, my comments in this thread have been targeted directly at the second point. If we are trying to learn, I think it is important to learn the right lesson and not just jump to conclusions based on popular myth.

    At no point do I want to suggest that hypothermia is not real or is not lethally dangerous. It is both!

    I would also not want to suggest that mild hypothermia could not set in in less than 10 minutes. But the loss of dexterity in your fingers is still a few minutes ahead of loosing large muscle control.

    The point I think is important is that instances where people drown or otherwise become dysfunctional in cold water in two minutes or less have nothing to do with a drop in core body temperature and everything to do with a very different set of circumstances associated with sudden submersion in cold water typical of cold-shock and or panic, NOT hypothermia. As such, our mental preparation for and our chosen actions in such situations can and should be VERY different than what we would assume for an appropriate response to reduced core body temperature.

    In other words, if we are submerged in cold water, our focus needs to be to gain control of our shock and panic responses, keeping our head above water in the process, DON'T PANIC ABOUT GETTING OUT AS FAST AS POSSIBLE TO AVOID HYPOTHERMIA. If alternatively we panic about getting hypothermia (instead of focusing on calming down and knowing we have a workable 5-10 minutes) we can make bad and dangerous choices trying to extricate ourselves from a bad situation as fast as possible instead of as safe as possible!!

    We will NOT be safer thinking that hypothermia can cause us to drown in two minutes or less. We will be safer if we realized that we don't have to get out of cold water as fast as possible in a dangerous panic, but instead we have a couple minutes to figure out the safest and most expedient solution to our problem, calm down, gain self control, then execute your extrication.

    The sense of fear generated by the myth that people drown from hypothermia in less than two minutes is the issue I have with the misinformed comments in this and other threads that suggest people die of hypothermia in these short time frames. The focus should not be on getting out of the water as fast as possible, but to get out as safely as possible within five minutes or less, if possible.
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    For what it's worth, here is an interesting 3-part youtube series that is quite informative.

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Exactly to the point. Thank you.

    In this case, my comments in this thread have been targeted directly at the second point. If we are trying to learn, I think it is important to learn the right lesson and not just jump to conclusions based on popular myth.

    At no point do I want to suggest that hypothermia is not real or is not lethally dangerous. It is both!

    I would also not want to suggest that mild hypothermia could not set in in less than 10 minutes. But the loss of dexterity in your fingers is still a few minutes ahead of loosing large muscle control.

    The point I think is important is that instances where people drown or otherwise become dysfunctional in cold water in two minutes or less have nothing to do with a drop in core body temperature and everything to do with a very different set of circumstances associated with sudden submersion in cold water typical of cold-shock and or panic, NOT hypothermia. As such, our mental preparation for and our chosen actions in such situations can and should be VERY different than what we would assume for an appropriate response to reduced core body temperature.

    In other words, if we are submerged in cold water, our focus needs to be to gain control of our shock and panic responses, keeping our head above water in the process, DON'T PANIC ABOUT GETTING OUT AS FAST AS POSSIBLE TO AVOID HYPOTHERMIA. If alternatively we panic about getting hypothermia (instead of focusing on calming down and knowing we have a workable 5-10 minutes) we can make bad and dangerous choices trying to extricate ourselves from a bad situation as fast as possible instead of as safe as possible!!

    We will NOT be safer thinking that hypothermia can cause us to drown in two minutes or less. We will be safer if we realized that we don't have to get out of cold water as fast as possible in a dangerous panic, but instead we have a couple minutes to figure out the safest and most expedient solution to our problem, calm down, gain self control, then execute your extrication.

    The sense of fear generated by the myth that people drown from hypothermia in less than two minutes is the issue I have with the misinformed comments in this and other threads that suggest people die of hypothermia in these short time frames. The focus should not be on getting out of the water as fast as possible, but to get out as safely as possible within five minutes or less, if possible.
    Well said. I think we can agree that sudden, unexpected immersion in cold water is something to avoid. Incidentally, extended immersion in fairly warm water for can also induce hypothermia.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  20. #80

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    How does everyone know he died from hypothermia?
    I would have assumed he drowned from flooded rapids.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

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