PADDLERsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 05 - Emergency Preparedness
The best way to survive cold water is to get out of it as quickly as possible. However, if this isn’t possible, you must try to conserve your body heat and increase your survival time by assuming one of the following two positions:
THE ‘H.E.L.P.’ AND ‘HUDDLE’ POSITIONS
The ‘H.E.L.P.’ Position
If you’re alone and submerged in cold water:
- Pull your knees into your chest and cross your arms tightly across your chest.
- This position will help protect the parts of your body that are the most prone to heat loss, such as the underarms and the back of the knees.
The ‘Huddle’ Position
If you’re submerged in cold water with other people:
- Place your arms around each other’s mid to lower back and pull together so your chests are close to each other’s sides.
- Intertwine your legs.
- Place any children in the middle of the huddle.
- Minimize your movements to conserve energy.