The Body in Water

It’s only your head that is heavy in water.

  1. If you jump in the water, you are weightless; that means your body will float low in the water. Even normal clothing has little effect, proving that the body has its own intrinsic buoyancy.
  2. By using your limbs as in ‘treading water’ you can also keep your head sufficiently above water to be able to breathe, but if exhausted or unconscious the head cannot be held high enough and will fall forward into the water.
  3. Any swimming action to hold your head up can be helped by adding some extra buoyancy. But if it’s around the body, over the back or deep down at the front, it only serves to tip the face into the water once swimming movement has stopped or exhaustion or unconsciousness has set in. That’s why a buoyancy aid is not a lifejacket. A buoyancy aid is only relevant to a person who is engaged in active watersports and capable of swimming and not necessarily in need of rescue!
  4. The only sure and safe way to hold a head above water and stop an unconscious or exhausted person from drowning is with a lifejacket that has sufficient buoyancy on the front, around the neck and under the chin. The deciding factor in the performance of each lifejacket (or PFD) is a good fit to the body, the right division of buoyancy around the head and shoulder area and a minimum of 100 Newtons of buoyancy. Further buoyancy is always to be recommended and the new Euronorm classes lay out different performance levels for different requirements of usage such as offshore weather or heavy protective clothing.
Prologue

Prologue

1. Built and conditioned for swimming’s art Is hero, Willi Secumaat

1. Built and conditioned for swimming’s art
Is hero, Willi Secumaat

2. Here he is in undressed state, We can measure Willi’s weight

2. Here he is in undressed state,
We can measure Willi’s weight


3. If we drop him in the Drink We can see he does not sink

3. If we drop him in the Drink
We can see he does not sink

4. However so he should not expire A little buoyancy we still require

4. However so he should not expire
A little buoyancy we still require

5. Now togged up with boots and jacket, You’ll see he now weighs quite a packet,

5. Now togged up with boots and jacket,
You’ll see he now weighs quite a packet,


6. But as his kits holds lots of air He floats quite well with some to spare

6. But as his kits holds lots of air
He floats quite well with some to spare

7. And then from the clothing the air is purged He’s still afloat but slightly submerged!

7. And then from the clothing the air is purged
He’s still afloat but slightly submerged!

8. Now we’ve lifted him out of the water And see he weighs much more than he ought’a!

8. Now we’ve lifted him out of the water
And see he weighs much more than he ought’a!


9. So here’s Willi, in the swim Strong and smiling, see him grin

9. So here’s Willi, in the swim
Strong and smiling, see him grin

10. But once he’s tired and loses his strength He soon slips under over a length.

10. But once he’s tired and loses his strength
He soon slips under over a length.

11. So there he lies not quite dead, But all tipped forward by the weight of his head

11. So there he lies not quite dead,
But all tipped forward by the weight of his head


12. There is however a collar he can use To support his head, should he choose,

12. There is however a collar he can use
To support his head, should he choose,

13. A floating lifebelt will however Support him in a way that’s not too clever.

13. A floating lifebelt will however
Support him in a way that’s not too clever.

14. A skinny front and heavy collar The head goes forward and the body will follow

14. A skinny front and heavy collar
The head goes forward and the body will follow


15. And even if unconscious he should lie On his back with neck support, held high.

15. And even if unconscious he should lie
On his back with neck support, held high.

16. And now with SECUMAR safety kit, Willi’s togged up and really fit.

16. And now with SECUMAR safety kit,
Willi’s togged up and really fit.

Epilogue

Epilogue