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​Hands-On Escape Training from a Sinking Vehicle or Boat

Memorize these safety tips before your next drive or boating adventure

Escape training from a sinking vehicle

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WJHG Channel 7: Local Police Officers Jump Into Water Survival Training

By Leanna Scachetti

Posted Saturday 10:59 PM, Aug 29, 2015

 

PANAMA CITY BEACH-- Instead of spending their Saturday relaxing in the pool, a group of Panama City Beach police officers were training in it. Several officers jumped in the pool at Frank Brown Park for hands-on survival training. While they were in the company of their peers, they said the intense training was no day at the park. Instructors with Survival Systems USA taught Panama City Beach SWAT and Marine units basic steps for underwater survival. Their training is called water egress. It's aimed at helping them stay calm and get themselves out of vehicles or aircraft that has gone into water. Officers were strapped into a floating, caged chair and flipped upside down in the water to simulate being submerged and disoriented under water. The officers said it was challenging and, at times, stressful. "Keep your head," Officer Poki Pala advised. "It's gonna suck." Instructor Richard Martin also taught basic steps to combat hypothermia, breath from an air tank upside down in the water and create human chains to help people move and stay together in open water. Martin said that each year there are between 300 and 500 vehicles that have incidents involving water and that most people don't know what to do to get themselves out. "When the car goes in the water," Martin said, "it's front heavy. They'll release their belt, then follow the air pocket to the back of the vehicle. There's no way out back there." Martin said this training isn't just for military members or law enforcement officers, but anyone who lives near bodies of water. "We live around water," Sgt. Emily Melton said. "So this is a scenario that could happen to anyone of a vehicle in the water or a boat capsizing in the water. Anything like that, this teaches you. So it's very good training, especially when you live around this much water." "It's something I can do, if I'm ever in a situation like this, to keep myself calm," Pala said. "I can say 'alright, I know what to do.' I know how to survive this and it's going to be alright."

 WJHG CHANNEL 7: LOCAL POLICE OFFICERS JUMP INTO WATER SURVIVAL TRAINING

By Leanna Scachetti

Posted Saturday 10:59 PM, Aug 29, 2015

 

PANAMA CITY BEACH-- Instead of spending their Saturday relaxing in the pool, a group of Panama City Beach police officers were training in it. Several officers jumped in the pool at Frank Brown Park for hands-on survival training. While they were in the company of their peers, they said the intense training was no day at the park. Instructors with Survival Systems USA taught Panama City Beach SWAT and Marine units basic steps for underwater survival. Their training is called water egress. It's aimed at helping them stay calm and get themselves out of vehicles or aircraft that has gone into water. Officers were strapped into a floating, caged chair and flipped upside down in the water to simulate being submerged and disoriented under water. The officers said it was challenging and, at times, stressful. "Keep your head," Officer Poki Pala advised. "It's gonna suck." Instructor Richard Martin also taught basic steps to combat hypothermia, breath from an air tank upside down in the water and create human chains to help people move and stay together in open water. Martin said that each year there are between 300 and 500 vehicles that have incidents involving water and that most people don't know what to do to get themselves out. "When the car goes in the water," Martin said, "it's front heavy. They'll release their belt, then follow the air pocket to the back of the vehicle. There's no way out back there." Martin said this training isn't just for military members or law enforcement officers, but anyone who lives near bodies of water. "We live around water," Sgt. Emily Melton said. "So this is a scenario that could happen to anyone of a vehicle in the water or a boat capsizing in the water. Anything like that, this teaches you. So it's very good training, especially when you live around this much water." "It's something I can do, if I'm ever in a situation like this, to keep myself calm," Pala said. "I can say 'alright, I know what to do.' I know how to survive this and it's going to be alright."

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 17 people who perished on the capsized Missouri duck boat in Table Rock Lake on Friday 20 July 2018. To help raise safety awareness please read these articles on underwater escape.​

 

Inside Edition: How to Escape a Sinking Boat

By Inside Edition Staff

Posted Friday 1:51 PM PDT, July 27, 2018

 

The Missouri duck boat tragedy, which left 17 people dead, raises questions about how to survive a similar disaster. Inside Edition went to a training simulator at Survival Systems USA in to learn how someone can improve their chances of survival. "That minute when you are completely underwater if you don't think, it's life or death," instructor Michael Mulford said. "Don't panic, keep thinking." Mulford says as you are boarding, make a mental note of where the exits are so you can plan your escape before disaster strikes. Survivors of the duck boat sinking say they became completely disoriented when they went under and couldn’t see a thing in the murky water. “Once we get underwater you can’t see very well, if at all,” he added. “So it's using those reference points to work your way to your exit. ”One way of finding an exit is by holding onto the frame of a window so even if you can't see, you can feel your way out. According to the experts at Survival Systems USA, a life vest could actually be a problem if you are submerged inside a boat with a roof. “If the watercraft submerges, that life vest is going to put you up on the ceiling and you're not gonna be able to pull yourself out because of the buoyancy of the life vest,” Mulford said. It's important to note that you should put your life vest on when you reach the surface in order to keep you afloat as you wait to be rescued.

How to Escape Sinking Vehicle

EXPLAINER : ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS A BOUT THE NEWS.

How Do You Escape From a Sinking Car? DRIVE A COROLLA.

By Christopher Beam

Updated Friday, Aug. 3, 2007, at 6:24 PM ET

 

A bridge spanning the Mississippi River collapsed Wednesday, sending dozens of vehicles plummeting 60 feet into the river below. How do you escape from a sinking car? First, roll down the windows. If the windows are still above the waterline, just climb out. But if the car is sinking fast, wait for the interior to fill with water- you won't be able to open the door until there's enough water inside the car to equalize the pressure on the outside. Opening the windows helps the water flow in faster, which gives you a better chance of escaping before your car sinks too deep. Survival experts recommend keeping your seatbelt on until the last possible second. Otherwise, the rush of water could disorient and possibly injure you. Plus, it gives you extra leverage to open the door when it's time to escape.  If some reason you can't open the windows or doors, try kicking out the windshield or smashing a side window as a last resort. (You can buy emergency LifeHammers for just this purpose.) Try not to panic. Easier said than done, of course-the impact of the water or an airbag probably will stun you. But it's hard to hold your breath if your heart is racing and carbon dioxide builds up in your blood too quickly. Survival Systems USA, a firm that trains soldiers in emergency escape techniques, has found that it takes about 20 seconds to escape through the door of a submerged car. A calm, relaxed person can hold their breath for 30 to 45 seconds underwater. So, if your pulse is pounding, you don't have much room for error. When it comes to water exits, some cars are better than others. Lighter cars generally float longer, so you'd be better off in a Corolla than a Suburban. Even though an SUV has more space inside and therefore more air, its 6,000 pounds will pull it down faster. An old Volkswagen ad campaign bragged about how a Beetle could float, but even the most buoyant cars won't stay above water longer than a minute or two. Float time also varies depending on how the car enters the water -e.g., an upside-down impact could break the windows-and how tight the seal is on the doors. (Besides kicking tires, car buyers will often slam doors to test the seal. A good seal will produce a nice, crisp thwack.) You're also better off with a car that has manual locks and windows instead of automatic ones. A car's electronics are likely to fail soon after it goes underwater, once its "brain boxes"-small electronic modules that control the car's functions-get wet. (These devices are often sealed against moisture, but never waterproof.) Same goes for what's under the hood: Modern cars with electronic engine controls stop working when they get wet. (That's why some cars can get stranded in the middle of deep puddles.) But if you want to be really safe, you might want to get a convertible.

 

Explainer thanks Richard Martin of Survival Systems USA and J.A. "Doc" Watson.

Survival Systems USA

860-405-0002​  *  888-386-5371

 

Survival Systems USA, Inc.

144 Tower Avenue Groton, CT 06340

 

 

sales@survivalsystemsinc.com