JERSEY Coastguard has issued a cold-water-shock warning after two people – who were not wearing lifejackets – were rescued when their rowing boat capsized.
The pair were saved after falling into the water in St Aubin’s Bay.
In a statement, the Coastguard warned that the incident could have ended in tragedy.
They said: ‘Recently Jersey Coastguard responded to a capsized rowing vessel in St Aubin’s Bay. Neither of the two persons on board were wearing lifejackets when they were plunged into the 9°C water.
‘Thankfully, despite the lack of lifejackets and the risk of cold-water shock, both persons were assisted safely ashore.
‘The situation, however, could have easily not had a happy ending.
‘Cold water shock is an involuntary response by the body being suddenly or unexpectedly immersed into water which has a temperature of less than 15°C.
‘After falling into cold water blood vessels in your skin will close and the output from your heart will rise causing your blood pressure to increase – this will put your heart under strain and could cause a heart attack.
‘The sudden cooling of the skin can also make you gasp involuntarily and increase your breathing rate which can cause you to inhale water panic and drown.
‘A correctly fitted, in-date serviced lifejacket will keep a person’s head clear of the water, reducing the risk of inhaling water, and keep the person floating even if they are unconscious.
‘We have posted about wearing lifejackets many times, but we can’t overemphasise their importance if you are out at sea. Lifejackets really do save lives.’