Survival is the ability to stay alive when life is threatened such as may be encountered after a shipping casualty.
Principles of survival at sea provide forё:
Thus crew expertise is one of the most important factors in successful survival.
The primary difficulties & limiting factors facing survivors are drowning & exposure.
These difficulties can be minimized by:
The ship itself is the primary means of safety while the lifesaving appliances are intended to provide a secondary means of safety in case the ship has to be abandoned, to maintain life until rescue arrives. Survival craft are most reliable means with such primary functions as to support survivors out of the water & thus reduce body cooling as a result of immersion in water, to protect survivors from wind, rain, sea , cold, sun & extreme heat, to aid location for search & rescue services, as well as to preserve survival with rations, water & survival aids.
When surviving the first actions & attention must be concentrated on protection from exposure. The support of the body out of the water, protected from cold, wind & rain is essential. In cold climates the body must produce heat to stay warm & maintain body core temperature of 36,9’C. Usually this is attained by exercises or by shivering. The falling of body core temperature may result in hypothermia & even death. Heat loss from the body must be prevented by wearing plenty of clothing. Clothes form the insulating layer thus maintaining the body temperature. Nowadays the immersion suit is the best means for protection against hypothermia & heat loss. If anyone, however, find himself in cold water with immersion suit put on it is necessary to adhere to principle “the smaller motions- the better” & necessary to press the arms & legs to body. Before put on such suit it is necessary to wear many layers of clothing.
On board the SC it is also necessary to keep close together for maintaining warm.
· Search & rescue services start searching at the last known position of the ship- don’t try to sail away from immediate area;
· Keep survival craft secured & grouped together in order to provide a bigger location target;
· Use emergency radio equipment such as EPIRB, SART & portable emergency transmitters to send out distress signals;
· Only use the pyrotechnic signals if there is absolutely no doubt about the presence of ships or aircrafts.
The normal well nourished human body contains enough nourishment to sustain life for over 50 days provided there is adequate water to drink. Without freshwater the body will die after only a few days, therefore the priority is the provision of fresh water. Small amounts of carbohydrate type food are valuable as an aid to retain fluids as well as their nutritional value while protein type food need a large amount of water in digestion & should not be eaten unless an adequate supply of water available. The basic supply of water should be supplemented with rainwater & condensation where possible, but seawater & urine should never be drunk because they exert destructive influence on the human liver.
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