Drawing: Cobra helicopter Drawing: Cobra helicopter
Chapter 16 - Page 4

Cold Weather Considerations

If you are in a cold climate —

The greatest problem you face when submerged in cold water is death due to hypothermia. When you are immersed in cold water, hypothermia occurs rapidly due to the decreased insulating quality of wet clothing and the result of water displacing the layer of still air that normally surrounds the body. The rate of heat exchange in water is about 25 times greater than it is in air of the same temperature. Figure 16-7 lists life expectancy times for immersion in water.

Water Temperature Time
21.0-15.5 degrees C (70-60 degrees F) 12 hours
15.5-10.0 degrees C (60-50 degrees F) 6 hours
10.0-4.5 degrees C (50-40 degrees F) 1 hour
4.5 degrees C (40 degrees F) and below less than 1 hour
Note: Wearing an anti-exposure suit may increase these times up to a maximum of 24 hours.
Figure 16-7. Life expectancy times for immersion in water.

Your best protection against the effects of cold water is to get into the life raft, stay dry, and insulate your body from the cold surface of the bottom of the raft. If these actions are not possible, wearing an anti-exposure suit will extend your life expectancy considerably. Remember, keep your head and neck out of the water and well insulated from the cold water's effects when the temperature is below 19 degrees C. Wearing life preservers increases the predicted survival time as body position in the water increases the chance of survival.

Hot Weather Considerations

If you are in a hot climate —

Raft Procedures

Most of the rafts in the U. S. Army and Air Force inventories can satisfy the needs for personal protection, mode of travel, and evasion and camouflage.

Note: Before boarding any raft, remove and tether (attach) your life preserver to yourself or the raft. Ensure there are no other metallic or sharp objects on your clothing or equipment that could damage the raft. After boarding the raft, don your life preserver again.

One-Man Raft

The one-man raft has a main cell inflation. If the CO2 bottle should malfunction or if the raft develops a leak, you can inflate it by mouth.

The spray shield acts as a shelter from the cold, wind, and water. In some cases, this shield serves as insulation. The raft's insulated bottom limits the conduction of cold thereby protecting you from hypothermia (Figure 16-8).

Drawing: Figure 16-8. One-man raft with spray shield.

You can travel more effectively by inflating or deflating the raft to take advantage of the wind or current. You can use the spray shield as a sail white the ballast buckets serve to increase drag in the water. You may use the sea anchor to control the raft's speed and direction.

There are rafts developed for use in tactical areas that are black. These rafts blend with the sea's background. You can further modify these rafts for evasion by partially deflating them to obtain a lower profile.

A lanyard connects the one-man raft to a parachutist (survivor) landing in the water. You (the survivor) inflate it upon landing. You do not swim to the raft, but pull it to you via the lanyard. The raft may hit the water upside down, but you can right it by approaching the side to which the bottle is attached and flipping the raft over. The spray shield must be in the raft to expose the boarding handles. Follow the steps outlined in the note under raft procedures above when boarding the raft (Figure 16-9).

Drawing: Figure 16-9. Boarding the one-man raft.

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Updated: 12 January 2008
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