Everyone who falls unexpectedly into cold water wants to follow the same instinct: to swim hard and to fight the cold water. But when people fight it, chances are that they lose. Cold water shock makes them gasp uncontrollably and breath in water. Then they drown.
But if they just float until the cold shock has passed, they'll be able to control their breathing and have a much better chance of staying alive.
1. Fight your instinct to panic or swim hard; 2. Lean back in the water to keep your airway clear; 3. Push your stomach up, extending your arms and legs; 4. Gently move your hands and feet to help you float; 5. Maintain this for 60-90 seconds until you can control your breathing; 6. Now you can assess the situation and start planning your next move.