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Titanic - Would Wrapping Yourself In Wool Blankets Have Increased Your Chances Of Survival?


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#1 Wannabelifeguard

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 07:44 AM

Hi guys,

 

Quick question, if someone on the Titanic had wrapped themselves up in wool blankets while wearing a life jacket, is this likely to have given them a chance at surviving the cold water?

 

Just wondering because some wool (or all wool?) has wicking ability. So I would assume that it would help keep the cold water away from your body.

 

As an extra question, in hindsight, is there anything that a modern day Cold Water Survival expert would have recommended to the passengers to maximise their chances of survival in cold water?

 

A small number of people did survival in the cold water long enough to be picked up by life boats, just wondering if there is anything that could have been done to increase those numbers.

 

Cheers.



#2 Flummoxed

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 10:34 AM

Hi guys,

 

Quick question, if someone on the Titanic had wrapped themselves up in wool blankets while wearing a life jacket, is this likely to have given them a chance at surviving the cold water?

 

Just wondering because some wool (or all wool?) has wicking ability. So I would assume that it would help keep the cold water away from your body.

 

As an extra question, in hindsight, is there anything that a modern day Cold Water Survival expert would have recommended to the passengers to maximise their chances of survival in cold water?

 

A small number of people did survival in the cold water long enough to be picked up by life boats, just wondering if there is anything that could have been done to increase those numbers.

 

Cheers.

 

In order to wick moisture away from the skin, one side of the wool would need to be less wet than the skin side. Being submerged in sea water, any air trapped in the wool might increase bouyancy and provide some insulation, until the wool became saturated. If the water close to your body becomes warm, and is not allowed to convect the heat away, which might be helped by thick woolen clothing. You will be losing less heat and therefore survive longer.  Edit it wouldnt be as effective as a thick wet suit, but it would be better than nothing.

 

On a sea survival course we were told to form a circle with one person into the middle of the circle where the water is meant to be less cold. People should take it in turns in the middle of the circle. I never tried it so cant confirm it works. 

 

One of the big causes of death on the Titanic was lack of life boats, also they were not fully occupied when they were placed in the water. If they had fully occupied the life boats less people would have died. 


Edited by Flummoxed, 01 May 2020 - 03:09 AM.