Getting lost at sea can already be an extreme emergency at its own, but adding cold weather conditions in the mix does not help. There are some procedures that you should follow for cold conditions at sea.
- Put on an antiexposure suit. If unavailable, put on any extra clothing available. Keep clothes loose and comfortable.
- Take care not to snag the raft with shoes or sharp objects. Keep the repair kit where you can readily reach it.
- Rig a windbreak, spray shield, and canopy.
- Try to keep the floor of the raft dry. Cover it with canvas or cloth for insulation.
- Huddle with others to keep warm, moving enough to keep the blood circulating. Spread an extra tarpaulin, sail, or parachute over the group.
- Give extra rations, if available, to men suffering from exposure to cold.
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