safety stupidity

safety stupidity

Post by sull » Sat, 23 Feb 2013 04:16:11


I wanted to share an example (at my own expense) of how difficult I
think safety assessment is.

I am very safety aware,  I push for it all the time, and accept that I
don't do everything correctly, but push my programs in the right
directions, and think about it often, and am asked about it and deal
with it nearly every day.

I'm currently teaching a young woman to scull who had sustained
traumatic head injury and a coma in a car accident a couple years
ago.   She was a former nat'l class swimmer/water polo player, who is
going through
a long difficult rehab to restore the motor pathways.   She loves
rowing, it's good because she'd never done
it so can improve, as opposed to being reminded in swimming how good
she once was.

Her coordination is halting, poor, and gradually improving.   Her
balance and ability to recover her balance is very difficult.  When
she came down in fall she couldn't stand on one leg.   Now she can to
take off her shoes one a time, awesome!     She is able to pull
herself back into an Aero when she
falls in,  she's comfortable in cold/open water.   We have been rowing
over this winter twice a week, and I have direct and total supervision
of her rowing in an Aero, I'm either next to her in a single or on the
dock in our cove as
she rows back and forth as I'm teaching her dad to scull.

This winter, we've had colder nights/mornings, and many more of them
than I can ever remember.   We've had icy docks many mornings in
February.

A couple weeks ago,  it was cold,  the wood deck tarmac was icey but
the dock was ok.   When we launched our footing was a bit slippery,
but not bad, the ice tarmac was dry and I didn't really pay much
attention as I was thinking more of water temps/air temps, and about
mitigating our rowing to keep her from doing anything drastic to fall
in, I'd be with her, so no big deal.  Water was 51f and air about 33f,
clear morning expected to warm up quickly.        We rowed, while we
were out, the Masters came in, a bunch of water was sprayed about the
wood tarmac (rinsing oars, it's the typical expected thing to do).
Temps dropped.   When we came in,  the deck was more slippery, I
noticed it first, but then didn't think of my charge, I was thinking
about moving us quickly since I had a world-wide video conference for
work to make in 20 minutes.

While carrying an Aero with another sculler, she slipped on the deck
and went down.    She was ok,  but of course the first thing that
occurred to me was what sort of f***ing moron would put a person with
recovering severe head trauma on an icy slippery surface carrying a
rowing shell.

This moron did.

No damage done,  thank my lucky stars,  she was ok and ready to go
again.

I explained what happened to her parents with profuse apology, asked
them on
 cold mornings to call me first to check ice conditions on dock, she
can come
and erg instead or stay home.

The lesson learned:   I have been WELL aware of the danger of icy
conditions
at the club, and have pushed for 'no row', or for programs to clear
the ice
before rowing, and before carrying shells up.   For a team of a couple
eights,
in the past we've kept a 1/2 dozen 5 gal buckets at the dock, and they
dump
salt water from the bay all over dock and deck which clears things
quickly.

I will do this myself often.

My fail was the following:   I didn't do a separate risk assessment of
my
charge's possible problems as far as on shore safety.    I was much
more
thorough on the water with her than others,  and in the act of
carrying boats,
getting in/out, but didn't even think of the differences in walking on
a slick
deck for normal ppl, vs someone who is very challenged in balance and
where the risk of further re-injury is high.

There was too much hubris in the notion that since I was with her all
the time, whatever I hadn't thought of could be mitigated.

Don't get me wrong, she gets to try to live a normal life, and there
will
be some risk to that.   If there were something unanticipated that
came
along that I've never seen before,  it's a very different story.

This is not the case here.    They told me she couldn't do activities
that would be jarring or where she'd be hit (like water polo, for
example).
I'd already been involved at the club with changing club culture
around
this icy deck/dock situation.  I shoulda coulda and didnta.

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by Henry La » Sat, 23 Feb 2013 07:26:25


Quote:
> this icy deck/dock situation.  I shoulda coulda and didnta.

Your cando(u)r does you great credit as usual.  Yes, you should; but no,
you aren't superhuman and you can't think of everything.  I hope you're
not infected with the modern (lawyerly) way of assuming that everything
must be someone's fault, in this case yours.

This was an OSINTOT moment, nothing more.  And you'll learn from it,
which some people might not.

--

Henry Law            Manchester, England

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by A. Duma » Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:07:43

Quote:

> this icy deck/dock situation.

Immediate improvement could be to surface the dock with chicken wire.

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by James H » Sun, 24 Feb 2013 01:58:11

Quote:

> I wanted to share an example (at my own expense) of how difficult I

> think safety assessment is.

> I am very safety aware,  I push for it all the time, and accept that I

> don't do everything correctly, but push my programs in the right

> directions, and think about it often, and am asked about it and deal

> with it nearly every day.

> I'm currently teaching a young woman to scull who had sustained

> traumatic head injury and a coma in a car accident a couple years

> ago.   She was a former nat'l class swimmer/water polo player, who is

> going through

> a long difficult rehab to restore the motor pathways.   She loves

> rowing, it's good because she'd never done

> it so can improve, as opposed to being reminded in swimming how good

> she once was.

> Her coordination is halting, poor, and gradually improving.   Her

> balance and ability to recover her balance is very difficult.  When

> she came down in fall she couldn't stand on one leg.   Now she can to

> take off her shoes one a time, awesome!     She is able to pull

> herself back into an Aero when she

> falls in,  she's comfortable in cold/open water.   We have been rowing

> over this winter twice a week, and I have direct and total supervision

> of her rowing in an Aero, I'm either next to her in a single or on the

> dock in our cove as

> she rows back and forth as I'm teaching her dad to scull.

> This winter, we've had colder nights/mornings, and many more of them

> than I can ever remember.   We've had icy docks many mornings in

> February.

> A couple weeks ago,  it was cold,  the wood deck tarmac was icey but

> the dock was ok.   When we launched our footing was a bit slippery,

> but not bad, the ice tarmac was dry and I didn't really pay much

> attention as I was thinking more of water temps/air temps, and about

> mitigating our rowing to keep her from doing anything drastic to fall

> in, I'd be with her, so no big deal.  Water was 51f and air about 33f,

> clear morning expected to warm up quickly.        We rowed, while we

> were out, the Masters came in, a bunch of water was sprayed about the

> wood tarmac (rinsing oars, it's the typical expected thing to do).

> Temps dropped.   When we came in,  the deck was more slippery, I

> noticed it first, but then didn't think of my charge, I was thinking

> about moving us quickly since I had a world-wide video conference for

> work to make in 20 minutes.

> While carrying an Aero with another sculler, she slipped on the deck

> and went down.    She was ok,  but of course the first thing that

> occurred to me was what sort of f***ing moron would put a person with

> recovering severe head trauma on an icy slippery surface carrying a

> rowing shell.

> This moron did.

> No damage done,  thank my lucky stars,  she was ok and ready to go

> again.

> I explained what happened to her parents with profuse apology, asked

> them on

>  cold mornings to call me first to check ice conditions on dock, she

> can come

> and erg instead or stay home.

> The lesson learned:   I have been WELL aware of the danger of icy

> conditions

> at the club, and have pushed for 'no row', or for programs to clear

> the ice

> before rowing, and before carrying shells up.   For a team of a couple

> eights,

> in the past we've kept a 1/2 dozen 5 gal buckets at the dock, and they

> dump

> salt water from the bay all over dock and deck which clears things

> quickly.

> I will do this myself often.

> My fail was the following:   I didn't do a separate risk assessment of

> my

> charge's possible problems as far as on shore safety.    I was much

> more

> thorough on the water with her than others,  and in the act of

> carrying boats,

> getting in/out, but didn't even think of the differences in walking on

> a slick

> deck for normal ppl, vs someone who is very challenged in balance and

> where the risk of further re-injury is high.

> There was too much hubris in the notion that since I was with her all

> the time, whatever I hadn't thought of could be mitigated.

> Don't get me wrong, she gets to try to live a normal life, and there

> will

> be some risk to that.   If there were something unanticipated that

> came

> along that I've never seen before,  it's a very different story.

> This is not the case here.    They told me she couldn't do activities

> that would be jarring or where she'd be hit (like water polo, for

> example).

> I'd already been involved at the club with changing club culture

> around

> this icy deck/dock situation.  I shoulda coulda and didnta.

Sully,

It is always easy in hindsight - and always easy to overlook.

In Icy weather we ban the washing of boats - so IMHO actually it was careless of others to spray water on a potentially freezing surface.

However, the best kind of accident is one that causes no damage and allows a low cost lesson to be learned.

It is how we react that is important - don't beat yourself up. I personally think you thought about as much as you possibly could.

She also has a responsibility to think about underfoot conditions and I hand back to individuals much of their own life safety.

Personally I think that you did as much as is humanly possible to ensure the safety of your charge, and you have now added one more thing!

However, weigh this against the AMAZING improvements that you are helping to provide for this young lady!

James
Club Water Safety Adviser

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by sull » Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:04:55


Quote:

> > I wanted to share an example (at my own expense) of how difficult I

> > think safety assessment is.

> > I am very safety aware, ?I push for it all the time, and accept that I

> > don't do everything correctly, but push my programs in the right

> > directions, and think about it often, and am asked about it and deal

> > with it nearly every day.

> > I'm currently teaching a young woman to scull who had sustained

> > traumatic head injury and a coma in a car accident a couple years

> > ago. ? She was a former nat'l class swimmer/water polo player, who is

> > going through

> > a long difficult rehab to restore the motor pathways. ? She loves

> > rowing, it's good because she'd never done

> > it so can improve, as opposed to being reminded in swimming how good

> > she once was.

> > Her coordination is halting, poor, and gradually improving. ? Her

> > balance and ability to recover her balance is very difficult. ?When

> > she came down in fall she couldn't stand on one leg. ? Now she can to

> > take off her shoes one a time, awesome! ? ? She is able to pull

> > herself back into an Aero when she

> > falls in, ?she's comfortable in cold/open water. ? We have been rowing

> > over this winter twice a week, and I have direct and total supervision

> > of her rowing in an Aero, I'm either next to her in a single or on the

> > dock in our cove as

> > she rows back and forth as I'm teaching her dad to scull.

> > This winter, we've had colder nights/mornings, and many more of them

> > than I can ever remember. ? We've had icy docks many mornings in

> > February.

> > A couple weeks ago, ?it was cold, ?the wood deck tarmac was icey but

> > the dock was ok. ? When we launched our footing was a bit slippery,

> > but not bad, the ice tarmac was dry and I didn't really pay much

> > attention as I was thinking more of water temps/air temps, and about

> > mitigating our rowing to keep her from doing anything drastic to fall

> > in, I'd be with her, so no big deal. ?Water was 51f and air about 33f,

> > clear morning expected to warm up quickly. ? ? ? ?We rowed, while we

> > were out, the Masters came in, a bunch of water was sprayed about the

> > wood tarmac (rinsing oars, it's the typical expected thing to do).

> > Temps dropped. ? When we came in, ?the deck was more slippery, I

> > noticed it first, but then didn't think of my charge, I was thinking

> > about moving us quickly since I had a world-wide video conference for

> > work to make in 20 minutes.

> > While carrying an Aero with another sculler, she slipped on the deck

> > and went down. ? ?She was ok, ?but of course the first thing that

> > occurred to me was what sort of f***ing moron would put a person with

> > recovering severe head trauma on an icy slippery surface carrying a

> > rowing shell.

> > This moron did.

> > No damage done, ?thank my lucky stars, ?she was ok and ready to go

> > again.

> > I explained what happened to her parents with profuse apology, asked

> > them on

> > ?cold mornings to call me first to check ice conditions on dock, she

> > can come

> > and erg instead or stay home.

> > The lesson learned: ? I have been WELL aware of the danger of icy

> > conditions

> > at the club, and have pushed for 'no row', or for programs to clear

> > the ice

> > before rowing, and before carrying shells up. ? For a team of a couple

> > eights,

> > in the past we've kept a 1/2 dozen 5 gal buckets at the dock, and they

> > dump

> > salt water from the bay all over dock and deck which clears things

> > quickly.

> > I will do this myself often.

> > My fail was the following: ? I didn't do a separate risk assessment of

> > my

> > charge's possible problems as far as on shore safety. ? ?I was much

> > more

> > thorough on the water with her than others, ?and in the act of

> > carrying boats,

> > getting in/out, but didn't even think of the differences in walking on

> > a slick

> > deck for normal ppl, vs someone who is very challenged in balance and

> > where the risk of further re-injury is high.

> > There was too much hubris in the notion that since I was with her all

> > the time, whatever I hadn't thought of could be mitigated.

> > Don't get me wrong, she gets to try to live a normal life, and there

> > will

> > be some risk to that. ? If there were something unanticipated that

> > came

> > along that I've never seen before, ?it's a very different story.

> > This is not the case here. ? ?They told me she couldn't do activities

> > that would be jarring or where she'd be hit (like water polo, for

> > example).

> > I'd already been involved at the club with changing club culture

> > around

> > this icy deck/dock situation. ?I shoulda coulda and didnta.

> Sully,

> It is always easy in hindsight - and always easy to overlook.

> In Icy weather we ban the washing of boats - so IMHO actually it was careless of others to spray water on a potentially freezing surface.

> However, the best kind of accident is one that causes no damage and allows a low cost lesson to be learned.

> It is how we react that is important - don't beat yourself up. I personally think you thought about as much as you possibly could.

snip

I can imagine many things that can happen when I teach, and there
are some things that have happened that have been dangerous,
but that I know I'd done everything I could.   My example years
ago was the athletic looking guy who told me he could swim, fell
into the water and panicked, absolutely could not swim!

But let me clarify,  I posted this not to beat myself up but
because this was something I should have anticipated.  Maybe
if I were a brand new sculling instructor, never taught much
then I'm off the hook,  but I have experience in all the pieces
that caused the possible problem, and I failed to put them
together.

In my mind safety assessment is three components:
Ability, Experience, Planning.

A death trap for one person may be another persons
playground.

I can discuss these three, but I am typically very disciplined
at addressing the 3 pieces,  extending that assessment to the
shore for people of radically differing abilities, and I failed to
do this adequetely for my sculler.

The reason I failed at this is because I had committed to
directly supervise all of the sessions,  so assumed I'd
take care of any contingencies, didn't finish my assessment.

Up at the cold lake,  I won't let individuals row in singles by
themselves when water drops below 50 unless they swim
in it with me there, in the gear they will row in.   Wetsuits
are ok to use, but we all know unless it's cold or wet out,
they are REALLY hot to row in, even a 2/3 shortie.

One woman who is a very consistent sculler asked if
we could install pontoons on the single instead.    I thought
about it,  it seemed reasonable enough but because I've
never tested the pontoons myself,  I nixed it until I could.

I've seen it where supposedly "untippable" boats end up
with someone in the water.

BTW, thanks for the encouragement, all,  but this
young woman does a lot more for me than I her, I
know it sounds like a freakin' cliche, but it's true.

 She's progressed to  where we can start taking
some hard strokes next week, I'm really looking forward to it.

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by Charles Carrol » Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:15:02

Quote:
> However, the best kind of accident is one that causes
> no damage and allows a low cost lesson to be learned.

> don't beat yourself up
> you thought about as much as you possibly could

Good advice.

Know what the 5th Century Greeks knew. Omniscience is a divine attribute.
Once you understand this you will know that humility is a human attribute.
You can't know everything; but you can be grateful for the lessons you
learn. Or as Epictetus put it: What is the first business of the
philosopher? To caste away conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to learn
that which he thinks he already knows.

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by John Greenl » Mon, 25 Feb 2013 04:47:39

I think Sully is a good seaman, in the best sense of the words-  that is, someone who is always trying his best to anticipate what could go wrong on and around the water, and avoid it before it happens.  None of us will ever be perfect at that, and we get better mostly with experience, hopefully experience without disastrous consequences.  I'd like to recommend here for your pleasure one of my very favorite books, called "The Elements of Seamanship", by Roger C Taylor.  This is a small gem of a book by a very, very good seaman indeed.  Its short chapters have titles like: "Keeping the Water Out" ,  and "Keeping from Hitting Anything".  It is written in simple terms and with a wonderful dry wit, but anybody who could always do what it teaches would be a master indeed.  It exemplifies that attitude of thinking ahead, visualizing situations, thinking of what could happen, that make a good seaman.  Although it was written with sailors in mind, its attitude of careful attention to circumstances is a great lesson for all of us who venture out into the waves and the wind and the rocks and the mud....  

And, if I may- one more thing about cold water.  It is deadly, and NEVER a danger to be taken lightly.  I'll give a personal example.  I almost died once when I stepped backward on the deck of a sailboat, tripped over a line, and fell, more or less feet-first, into the ocean in Maine in September.  The water was not extremely cold, probably over 50 degrees F.  I had what I found out later is an expected reaction when cold water goes up your nose-  my chest muscles went into spasm, my larynx also shut in spasm, and I could not take a breath.  My shipmate jumped into the handy dinghy and hauled me on board very quickly.  I did not inhale water.  I couldn't inhale at all and I thought I was gone, began to lose consciousness before I finally was able to take a desperate rasping breath.  If I hadn't been pulled out so fast I would never have been able to take that breath.  This is called "dry drowning", and it is not surprising that a substantial fraction of cold-water deaths happen within 10 feet of safety because of this.  You can't swim- or do anything at all- when this is happening.  It's VERY different from getting in and even swimming, carefully and on purpose, in cold water.  Clothing makes no difference, it is the reflexive reaction to cold water hitting your face and especially going into your nose and sinuses that causes it.  Most people know about the frighteningly rapid loss of coordination, strength and brain function that happen with hypothermia, but unfortunately many don't know that cold-water deaths often happen much more quickly, before hypothermia even begins.

all best regards,
be well, and safe,

John G

Quote:



> > > I wanted to share an example (at my own expense) of how difficult I

> > > think safety assessment is.

> > > I am very safety aware, ?I push for it all the time, and accept that I

> > > don't do everything correctly, but push my programs in the right

> > > directions, and think about it often, and am asked about it and deal

> > > with it nearly every day.

> > > I'm currently teaching a young woman to scull who had sustained

> > > traumatic head injury and a coma in a car accident a couple years

> > > ago. ? She was a former nat'l class swimmer/water polo player, who is

> > > going through

> > > a long difficult rehab to restore the motor pathways. ? She loves

> > > rowing, it's good because she'd never done

> > > it so can improve, as opposed to being reminded in swimming how good

> > > she once was.

> > > Her coordination is halting, poor, and gradually improving. ? Her

> > > balance and ability to recover her balance is very difficult. ?When

> > > she came down in fall she couldn't stand on one leg. ? Now she can to

> > > take off her shoes one a time, awesome! ? ? She is able to pull

> > > herself back into an Aero when she

> > > falls in, ?she's comfortable in cold/open water. ? We have been rowing

> > > over this winter twice a week, and I have direct and total supervision

> > > of her rowing in an Aero, I'm either next to her in a single or on the

> > > dock in our cove as

> > > she rows back and forth as I'm teaching her dad to scull.

> > > This winter, we've had colder nights/mornings, and many more of them

> > > than I can ever remember. ? We've had icy docks many mornings in

> > > February.

> > > A couple weeks ago, ?it was cold, ?the wood deck tarmac was icey but

> > > the dock was ok. ? When we launched our footing was a bit slippery,

> > > but not bad, the ice tarmac was dry and I didn't really pay much

> > > attention as I was thinking more of water temps/air temps, and about

> > > mitigating our rowing to keep her from doing anything drastic to fall

> > > in, I'd be with her, so no big deal. ?Water was 51f and air about 33f,

> > > clear morning expected to warm up quickly. ? ? ? ?We rowed, while we

> > > were out, the Masters came in, a bunch of water was sprayed about the

> > > wood tarmac (rinsing oars, it's the typical expected thing to do).

> > > Temps dropped. ? When we came in, ?the deck was more slippery, I

> > > noticed it first, but then didn't think of my charge, I was thinking

> > > about moving us quickly since I had a world-wide video conference for

> > > work to make in 20 minutes.

> > > While carrying an Aero with another sculler, she slipped on the deck

> > > and went down. ? ?She was ok, ?but of course the first thing that

> > > occurred to me was what sort of f***ing moron would put a person with

> > > recovering severe head trauma on an icy slippery surface carrying a

> > > rowing shell.

> > > This moron did.

> > > No damage done, ?thank my lucky stars, ?she was ok and ready to go

> > > again.

> > > I explained what happened to her parents with profuse apology, asked

> > > them on

> > > ?cold mornings to call me first to check ice conditions on dock, she

> > > can come

> > > and erg instead or stay home.

> > > The lesson learned: ? I have been WELL aware of the danger of icy

> > > conditions

> > > at the club, and have pushed for 'no row', or for programs to clear

> > > the ice

> > > before rowing, and before carrying shells up. ? For a team of a couple

> > > eights,

> > > in the past we've kept a 1/2 dozen 5 gal buckets at the dock, and they

> > > dump

> > > salt water from the bay all over dock and deck which clears things

> > > quickly.

> > > I will do this myself often.

> > > My fail was the following: ? I didn't do a separate risk assessment of

> > > my

> > > charge's possible problems as far as on shore safety. ? ?I was much

> > > more

> > > thorough on the water with her than others, ?and in the act of

> > > carrying boats,

> > > getting in/out, but didn't even think of the differences in walking on

> > > a slick

> > > deck for normal ppl, vs someone who is very challenged in balance and

> > > where the risk of further re-injury is high.

> > > There was too much hubris in the notion that since I was with her all

> > > the time, whatever I hadn't thought of could be mitigated.

> > > Don't get me wrong, she gets to try to live a normal life, and there

> > > will

> > > be some risk to that. ? If there were something unanticipated that

> > > came

> > > along that I've never seen before, ?it's a very different story.

> > > This is not the case here. ? ?They told me she couldn't do activities

> > > that would be jarring or where she'd be hit (like water polo, for

> > > example).

> > > I'd already been involved at the club with changing club culture

> > > around

> > > this icy deck/dock situation. ?I shoulda coulda and didnta.

> > Sully,

> > It is always easy in hindsight - and always easy to overlook.

> > In Icy weather we ban the washing of boats - so IMHO actually it was careless of others to spray water on a potentially freezing surface.

> > However, the best kind of accident is one that causes no damage and allows a low cost lesson to be learned.

> > It is how we react that is important - don't beat yourself up. I personally think you thought about as much as you possibly could.

> snip

> I can imagine many things that can happen when I teach, and there

> are some things that have happened that have been dangerous,

> but that I know I'd done everything I could.   My example years

> ago was the athletic looking guy who told me he could swim, fell

> into the water and panicked, absolutely could not swim!

...

read more »

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by Carl » Mon, 25 Feb 2013 06:41:36


Quote:
> I think Sully is a good seaman, in the best sense of the words-  that is, someone who is always trying his best to anticipate what could go wrong on and around the water, and avoid it before it happens.  None of us will ever be perfect at that, and we get better mostly with experience, hopefully experience without disastrous consequences.  I'd like to recommend here for your pleasure one of my very favorite books, called "The Elements of Seamanship", by Roger C Taylor.  This is a small gem of a book by a very, very good seaman indeed.  Its short chapters have titles like: "Keeping the Water Out" ,  and "Keeping from Hitting Anything".  It is written in simple terms and with a wonderful dry wit, but anybody who could always do what it teaches would be a master indeed.  It exemplifies that attitude of thinking ahead, visualizing situations, thinking of what could happen, that make a good seaman.  Although it was written with sailors in mind, its attitude of careful attention to circ

umstances is a great lesson for all of us who venture out into the waves and the wind and the rocks and the mud....
Quote:

> And, if I may- one more thing about cold water.  It is deadly, and NEVER a danger to be taken lightly.  I'll give a personal example.  I almost died once when I stepped backward on the deck of a sailboat, tripped over a line, and fell, more or less feet-first, into the ocean in Maine in September.  The water was not extremely cold, probably over 50 degrees F.  I had what I found out later is an expected reaction when cold water goes up your nose-  my chest muscles went into spasm, my larynx also shut in spasm, and I could not take a breath.  My shipmate jumped into the handy dinghy and hauled me on board very quickly.  I did not inhale water.  I couldn't inhale at all and I thought I was gone, began to lose consciousness before I finally was able to take a desperate rasping breath.  If I hadn't been pulled out so fast I would never have been able to take that breath.  This is called "dry drowning", and it is not surprising that a substantial fraction of cold-water deaths happen wi

thin 10 feet of safety because of this.  You can't swim- or do anything at all- when this is happening.  It's VERY different from getting in and even swimming, carefully and on purpose, in cold water.  Clothing makes no difference, it is the reflexive reaction to cold water hitting your face and especially going into your nose and sinuses that causes it.  Most people know about the frighteningly rapid loss of coordination, strength and brain function that happen with hypothermia, but unfortunately many don't know that cold-water deaths often happen much more quickly, before hypothermia even begins.
Quote:

> all best regards,
> be well, and safe,

> John G




>>>> I wanted to share an example (at my own expense) of how difficult I

>>>> think safety assessment is.

>>>> I am very safety aware,  I push for it all the time, and accept that I

>>>> don't do everything correctly, but push my programs in the right

>>>> directions, and think about it often, and am asked about it and deal

>>>> with it nearly every day.

>>>> I'm currently teaching a young woman to scull who had sustained

>>>> traumatic head injury and a coma in a car accident a couple years

>>>> ago.   She was a former nat'l class swimmer/water polo player, who is

>>>> going through

>>>> a long difficult rehab to restore the motor pathways.   She loves

>>>> rowing, it's good because she'd never done

>>>> it so can improve, as opposed to being reminded in swimming how good

>>>> she once was.

>>>> Her coordination is halting, poor, and gradually improving.   Her

>>>> balance and ability to recover her balance is very difficult.  When

>>>> she came down in fall she couldn't stand on one leg.   Now she can to

>>>> take off her shoes one a time, awesome!     She is able to pull

>>>> herself back into an Aero when she

>>>> falls in,  she's comfortable in cold/open water.   We have been rowing

>>>> over this winter twice a week, and I have direct and total supervision

>>>> of her rowing in an Aero, I'm either next to her in a single or on the

>>>> dock in our cove as

>>>> she rows back and forth as I'm teaching her dad to scull.

>>>> This winter, we've had colder nights/mornings, and many more of them

>>>> than I can ever remember.   We've had icy docks many mornings in

>>>> February.

>>>> A couple weeks ago,  it was cold,  the wood deck tarmac was icey but

>>>> the dock was ok.   When we launched our footing was a bit slippery,

>>>> but not bad, the ice tarmac was dry and I didn't really pay much

>>>> attention as I was thinking more of water temps/air temps, and about

>>>> mitigating our rowing to keep her from doing anything drastic to fall

>>>> in, I'd be with her, so no big deal.  Water was 51f and air about 33f,

>>>> clear morning expected to warm up quickly.        We rowed, while we

>>>> were out, the Masters came in, a bunch of water was sprayed about the

>>>> wood tarmac (rinsing oars, it's the typical expected thing to do).

>>>> Temps dropped.   When we came in,  the deck was more slippery, I

>>>> noticed it first, but then didn't think of my charge, I was thinking

>>>> about moving us quickly since I had a world-wide video conference for

>>>> work to make in 20 minutes.

>>>> While carrying an Aero with another sculler, she slipped on the deck

>>>> and went down.    She was ok,  but of course the first thing that

>>>> occurred to me was what sort of f***ing moron would put a person with

>>>> recovering severe head trauma on an icy slippery surface carrying a

>>>> rowing shell.

>>>> This moron did.

>>>> No damage done,  thank my lucky stars,  she was ok and ready to go

>>>> again.

>>>> I explained what happened to her parents with profuse apology, asked

>>>> them on

>>>>   cold mornings to call me first to check ice conditions on dock, she

>>>> can come

>>>> and erg instead or stay home.

>>>> The lesson learned:   I have been WELL aware of the danger of icy

>>>> conditions

>>>> at the club, and have pushed for 'no row', or for programs to clear

>>>> the ice

>>>> before rowing, and before carrying shells up.   For a team of a couple

>>>> eights,

>>>> in the past we've kept a 1/2 dozen 5 gal buckets at the dock, and they

>>>> dump

>>>> salt water from the bay all over dock and deck which clears things

>>>> quickly.

>>>> I will do this myself often.

>>>> My fail was the following:   I didn't do a separate risk assessment of

>>>> my

>>>> charge's possible problems as far as on shore safety.    I was much

>>>> more

>>>> thorough on the water with her than others,  and in the act of

>>>> carrying boats,

>>>> getting in/out, but didn't even think of the differences in walking on

>>>> a slick

>>>> deck for normal ppl, vs someone who is very challenged in balance and

>>>> where the risk of further re-injury is high.

>>>> There was too much hubris in the notion that since I was with her all

>>>> the time, whatever I hadn't thought of could be mitigated.

>>>> Don't get me wrong, she gets to try to live a normal life, and there

>>>> will

>>>> be some risk to that.   If there were something unanticipated that

>>>> came

>>>> along that I've never seen before,  it's a very different story.

>>>> This is not the case here.    They told me she couldn't do activities

>>>> that would be jarring or where she'd be hit (like water polo, for

>>>> example).

>>>> I'd already been involved at the club with changing club culture

>>>> around

>>>> this icy deck/dock situation.  I shoulda coulda and didnta.

>>> Sully,

>>> It is always easy in hindsight - and always easy to overlook.

>>> In Icy weather we ban the washing of boats - so IMHO actually it was careless of others to spray water on a potentially freezing surface.

>>> However, the best kind of accident is one that causes no damage and allows a low cost lesson to be learned.

>>> It is how we react that is important - don't beat yourself up. I personally think you thought about as much as you possibly could.

>> snip

>> I can imagine many things that can happen when I teach, and there

>> are some things that have happened that have been dangerous,

>> but that I know I'd done everything I could.   My example years

>> ago was the athletic looking guy who told me he could swim, fell

>> into the water and panicked, absolutely could not swim!

>> But let me clarify,  I posted this not to beat myself up

...

read more »

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by sull » Mon, 25 Feb 2013 09:23:49


Quote:
> I think Sully is a good seaman, in the best sense of the words- ?that is, someone who is always trying his best to anticipate what could go wrong on and around the water, and avoid it before it happens. ?None of us will ever be perfect at that, and we get better mostly with experience, hopefully experience without disastrous consequences. ?I'd like to recommend here for your pleasure one of my very favorite books, called "The Elements of Seamanship", by Roger C Taylor. ?This is a small gem of a book by a very, very good seaman indeed. ?Its short chapters have titles like: "Keeping the Water Out" , ?and "Keeping from Hitting Anything". ?It is written in simple terms and with a wonderful dry wit, but anybody who could always do what it teaches would be a master indeed. ?It exemplifies that attitude of thinking ahead, visualizing situations, thinking of what could happen, that make a good seaman. ?Although it was written with sailors in mind, its attitude of careful attention to circumstances is a great lesson for all of us who venture out into the waves and the wind and the rocks and the mud....

> And, if I may- one more thing about cold water. ?It is deadly, and NEVER a danger to be taken lightly. ?I'll give a personal example. ?I almost died once when I stepped backward on the deck of a sailboat, tripped over a line, and fell, more or less feet-first, into the ocean in Maine in September. ?The water was not extremely cold, probably over 50 degrees F. ?I had what I found out later is an expected reaction when cold water goes up your nose- ?my chest muscles went into spasm, my larynx also shut in spasm, and I could not take a breath. ?My shipmate jumped into the handy dinghy and hauled me on board very quickly. ?I did not inhale water. ?I couldn't inhale at all and I thought I was gone, began to lose consciousness before I finally was able to take a desperate rasping breath. ?If I hadn't been pulled out so fast I would never have been able to take that breath. ?This is called "dry drowning", and it is not surprising that a substantial fraction of cold-water deaths happen within 10 feet of safety because of this. ?You can't swim- or do anything at all- when this is happening. ?It's VERY different from getting in and even swimming, carefully and on purpose, in cold water. ?Clothing makes no difference, it is the reflexive reaction to cold water hitting your face and especially going into your nose and sinuses that causes it. ?Most people know about the frighteningly rapid loss of coordination, strength and brain function that happen with hypothermia, but unfortunately many don't know that cold-water deaths often happen much more quickly, before hypothermia even begins.

Thanks, John, that's a great explanation, and as Carl rightly points
out, you don't have to be out on a boat.

Happens at the beaches up here in Norcal all the time.

 
 
 

safety stupidity

Post by John Greenl » Tue, 05 Mar 2013 03:06:50

 You might care to visit:

Quote:

>   www.leoblockley.org.uk

Thank you Carl!  This is really excellent, the information on cold water dangers includes all I had found from various sources, and more.  I'm going to recommend this to all my water-borne friends.