With the season just beginning sailors are on the water which is still cold, around 7 degrees C on Lake Ontario
If you fell in we used to think about hypothermia being the principal cause of death, however in very cold water below 10 degrees the principal cause of death is drowning caused by cold shock. For about 1 minute you gasp for air often inhaling water especially if you are not wearing a lifejacket to keep your mouth out of the water. In 10 minutes you lose the ability to move your arms and legs -so if you can’t reach somewhere to get out of the water then you wont! You have around 1 hour before hypothermia sets in and around 2 hours before your heart stops and you die.
Its really important to wear a life jacket -with it you can survive for at least an hour.
For more information Google “Cold Water Bootcamp” or see