Hokulea crew members endure ‘shocking’ cold water training
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Members of the voyaging canoe Hokulea are enduring painful cold water training. It’s all to prepare for their voyage around the Pacific that starts in Alaska this summer.
The cold waters of Alaska are fridged so to prepare for a potential man overboard emergency, Hokulea crew members submerged themselves in ice cold water.
The water got down to 41 degrees just 9 degrees above freezing and crew members worked their way up to staying in for a minute and a half.
“It was shocking,” said Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society President and pwo (master) navigator.
“It just instantly stole your breath away. It made your chest feel really tight,” he added.
Thompson says crew members use their breath to mentally endure the stabbing pain, but after four minutes, a person can go unconscious.
“With hypothermia, hurting is actually good because at some stage of the hypothermia if you don’t get them out of the water and you don’t get them dry, it goes where they don’t start to feel the pain and then it leads you to unconsciousness and drowning,” said Thompson.
Crew members also got a feel of the cold through their thick dry suits. For the potential dangers of the Alaska leg of the voyage, they’re beefing up safety protocols.
Most people wouldn’t be able to stand it, but these crew members stoically showed their mental and physical toughness which are needed skills for the rugged conditions of Alaska.
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