Survival at Sea
***Some listeners may find parts of this programme upsetting***
If by accident you are thrown into icy waters, what can you do to help your chances of survival? As Professor of Survival and Thermal Medicine, Michael Tipton, explains, there are a number of things that will help you, but they are surprisingly counter-intuitive. And it’s not just about what you do physically. Professor Dinesh Bhugra from the Institute of Psychiatry suggests that your attitudes to your family and wider community also play a crucial role. Perhaps that’s what spurred on Gulli, the real-life hero of Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur’s film The Deep, as he successfully braved the freezing waters of the North Atlantic for several hours.
(Photo: Production still from the film The Deep directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Credit: PMK-BNC Production)
Professor Tipton is Director of Research for the Department of Sport and Exercise Science at Portsmouth University. He has spent more than 17 years researching survival at sea and thermoregulation in heat and cold environments. Part of his work is to highlight that drowning and hypothermia are not necessarily the primary cause of death in cold waters and that there are many ways to improve survival rates.