Hypothermia, in the realm of sailing, is the lowering of the body’s core temperature (due to exposure) and the body’s inability to get back to a healthy and normal temperature. Obviously falling overboard in cold weather is the express train to hypothermia and we all should know what to do in the event of such a circumstance.
Here’s the bullet points for treatment according to webMD:
- Get the person out of the elements and indoors if possible.
- Remove the wet clothing and dry them off.
- Warm the person’s trunk first, not hands and feet. Warming extremities first can cause shock.
- Warm the person by wrapping him or her in blankets or putting dry clothing on the person.
- Contrary to what some believe, do not immerse the person in warm water. Rapid warming can cause heart arrhythmia.
- Give the person a warm drink. Avoid caffeine or alcohol. Now’s not the time to offer them a nice cold beer!
- Once the body temperature begins to rise, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket. Wrap the person’s head and neck, as well.
- Get them to a hospital to make sure all is well.
Obviously these are all good tips to dealing with hypothermia but we encourage you to do more research to get a more thorough perspective on prevention, stages, & treatment – these links are a good place to start: