Tag Archives: Float

Survival Float

sknot

09/26/14
To Do Today:

  • PT – Cardio – 1hr Swim // Strength – Leg group
  • Tie the square knot (or Reef Knot), described in the graphic above, until you can do it behind your back with your eyes closed. It is easy to remember: Left over Right, Right over Left. The Square Knot is used for connecting lines but can be unreliable after repeated use so do not use for climbing/belay/etc.
  • Review additional details of the square knot here
  • Practice the floatation methods described below in a pool until mastered
  • Friday rules in effect 1730

Staying Afloat Without a Life Preserver

If you find yourself in open water without any floating objects or a life preserver these techniques may help you survive. These expedient flotation techniques are best used with a standard military blouse, trousers, and boots but other loose fitting or outdoor style clothing will work as well.

Floating With an Inflated Blouse

It is possible to float by a bubble of air trapped in the shoulders of your blouse or loose fitting cotton/poly blend shirt. The air rises to the back and shoulders of the blouse and supports you at the water’s surface. An inflated blouse is also a temporary flotation device used by weaker swimmers while trying to remove their trousers. There is a primary and an alternate way to create a bubble of trapped air in a blouse:

A. Primary Method

  • Turn the collar inside the blouse to help create a seal.
  • Unbutton top button and pull collar around mouth and nose.
  • Take a deep breath and bend forward slightly at the waist.
  • Exhale one-half to three-quarters of a breath into the blouse. Grasp and twist the collar with one hand to create a seal, this prevents air from escaping out from the collar.
  • Use your free hand and feet to stroke and kick to the surface.
  • Gather and hold the blouse tightly at the collar and stomach level to prevent the blouse from losing air if it floats up too high.
  • Splash water on the blouse periodically to prevent the material from drying, dry material allows air to escape.
  • Repeat inflation as required.

 B. Alternate Method

  • Turn the collar inside the blouse to help create a seal.
  • Unbutton the second button from the top.
  • Take a deep breath and bend forward slightly at the waist.
  • Place your mouth and nose inside the hole created by the open button and exhale one-half to three-quarters of a breath into the blouse.
  • Grasp material at the unbutton portion and pull downward.
  • Use your free hand and feet to stroke and kick to the surface.
  • Splash water on the blouse periodically to prevent the material from drying, dry material allows air to escape.
  • Repeat inflation as required.

Floating With Inflated Trousers

In warm water, trousers can be used as a primary expedient flotation device. However, in cold water, submerging your head to remove and inflate your trousers results in heat and energy losses that negate the benefit of using the trousers as a flotation device. Once your trousers are inflated, you float motionlessly as if wearing a life preserver. If needed, assume the heat escape lessening posture to slow heat loss. As trousers dry, air leaks out of the legs. To slow this process, occasionally splash water on the fabric. Re-inflate trousers as needed.

Sling Method

The sling method works if you are a strong swimmer or naturally very buoyant. Take the following steps to inflate trousers using the sling method:

  • Take a deep breath, bend over, and remove your boots.

WSF1

  • Retain your boots. Tie the boot laces together and suspend the boots from your blouse or hang them around your neck so that they rest on your chest.
  • Remove your trousers. Button or zip the trouser fly closed. This allows you to control airflow.

WSF9

  • Tie the bottoms of the trouser legs in a square knot.

WSF3

  • Ensure that the front (fly) of the trousers faces you.
  • Hold the trousers above the water’s surface and behind your head. Grasp both sides of the waistband and open with both hands.
  • Kick strongly to stay on top of the water while slinging the trousers overhead in order to trap air into them. Once the waistband is submerged in the water, air is trapped in the legs.

WSF4

  • Hold and seal the waistband underwater.

WSF21

  • Slip the inflated legs over your head. Hold the waistband in toward your chest, the fly facing your body. To prevent air from escaping from the trousers, seal the waistband by either folding it or twisting it.
  • Lie back and relax, resting the back of your neck against the knot.

WSF6

  • Splash water on the trousers periodically to prevent the material from drying. Dry material allows air to escape.

WSF20To replenish air in the trousers, you will use a technique known as the scooping method. With one hand on the open waistband, extend the trousers in front of you just below the surface of the water and scoop air bubbles with your free hand into the open waistband until the trousers have sufficient air. Repeat as necessary.

WSF15


Splash Method

The splash method is an alternative to the sling method. As with the sling method, you must kick strongly to remain at the surface. To inflate trousers using the splash method, perform the following:

  • Take a deep breath, bend over, and remove/retain your boots as described above.
  • Remove your trousers. Button or zip the trouser fly closed. This allows you to control airflow.
  • Tie the bottoms of the trouser legs in a square knot.
  • Ensure that the front (fly) of the trousers faces you.
  • Hold the trousers at the water’s surface out in front of you by the waistband with the fly up.

WSF22

  • Grasp the waistband at the surface with one hand. Insert your free hand into the waistband, palm down.
  • Flutter your hand rapidly to create bubbles. This sends a mixture of water and air bubbles into the trousers. The water passes through the fabric. The air remains trapped in the legs.

WSF12

  • Hold and seal the waistband underwater.
  • Slip the inflated legs over your head.
  • Hold the waistband in toward your chest, the fly facing your body.
  • To prevent air from escaping from the trousers, seal the waistband by either folding it or  twisting it. Lie back and relax, resting the back of your neck against the knot.

WSF6

  • Splash water on the trousers periodically to prevent the material from drying. Dry material allows air to escape.

To replenish air in the trousers, use the scooping method and repeat as necessary.


Blow Method

The blow method is an alternative to the sling method. Use the blow method if you are a weak swimmer. Take the following steps to inflate trousers using the blow method:

  • Take a deep breath, bend over, and remove/retain your boots as described above.
  • Remove your trousers.
  • Button or zip the trouser fly closed. This allows you to control airflow.
  • Tie the bottoms of the trouser legs in a square knot.
  • Ensure that the front (fly) of the trousers faces you.
  • Hold the trousers at the water’s surface. Grasp both sides of the waistband and open with both hands.
  • Take a deep breath. Drop 2 feet below the water’s surface, pulling the waistband underwater. Hold the waistband open with both hands and blow air into the trousers.

WSF17

  • To fill the trousers with air, surface while keeping the waistband underwater, breathe in again, drop below the water’s surface, and blow air into the trousers.

WSF18

  • Repeat these steps until the trousers are filled sufficiently. Once trousers are filled, hold the waistband underwater.
  • Twist and pinch it off. Slip the inflated legs over your head.
  • Hold the waistband in toward your chest, the fly facing your body.
  • To prevent air from escaping from the trousers, seal the waistband by either folding it or twisting it. Lie back and relax, resting the back of your neck against the knot.

WSF6

 

  • Splash water on the trousers periodically, to prevent the material from drying. Dry material allows air to escape.

To replenish air in the trousers, use the scooping method and repeat as necessary.


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