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nomoss

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I have noticed that many people in Britain - in particular commentators on BBC TV - stand outside in abysmal weather, often wearing heavy coats, but almost always wearing those daft "scarfy" things (don't know what they're called in English, chèches or foulards in French), but very rarely, if ever, hats.

Is it more important to be fashionable than sensible?

 

 

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[quote user="nomoss"]I have noticed that many people in Britain - in particular commentators on BBC TV - stand outside in abysmal weather, often wearing heavy coats, but almost always wearing those daft "scarfy" things (don't know what they're called in English, chèches or foulards in French), but very rarely, if ever, hats.

Is it more important to be fashionable than sensible?[/quote]

Aren't hats more likely to get blown off by the weather or else "tipped off" (by a passer-by)? However, I think that most of TV is obsessed with the idea that looks are paramount.

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Very sensible Nomoss - I was taught that body heat is mainly lost via the head, so a nice warm wooly hat is essential in cold weather.

They can look smart too.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=362406011

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I believe I recently read something somewhere to the effect that losing body heat through your head is a bit of an old wives tale, but I could be mistaken.

Fashion or no fashion, I would never wear a hat. I look awful in a hat. I've seen bag ladies that carry off a hat better then me.

On the other hand, I have a number of hats suitable for bad weather which have a hood.

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My Dad hates wearing hats and never does, even when he went to Canada in mid winter, I had enough trouble getting him to take gloves with him.

I love hats, they used to like me, but not many do any more. I had also heard that it was a bit of myth about losing body heat through the head, although I have to say that if I am cold, I like to get all of me warmed up, including my head.

News reporters sometimes have  hoods up in bad weather, but usually are nu-tete. I'm trying to think if the reporters on France2 news had hats on last winter during the lousy weather, but I cannot remember now.

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[quote user="You can call me Betty"]Given that none of the BBC commentators I can think of come into the category of eye candy, I don't think narcissism comes into it much.
[/quote]While I agree with you on their looks, I wouldn't underestimate their capacity for self-deception[6]
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I'm struggling to find a reference but I'm sure the losing heat from your head thing comes from some trials of dry suits (you know, like wetsuits but well, dry) It was something that came about when they went into common use on oil-rigs and such so that divers could stay down longer.  Using thermal imaging it was shown that in a dry suit, 90% (or whatever) of body heat lost was through the head thus proving the insulating properties of the suit  [geek]

Still looking for a reference unless one of you clever lot can find it first

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I think the foulards are as much setting the scene and being fashionable, they definitely arent wearing them because they feel cold, if they did you wouldnt see their face.

Intersesting to read the thoughts about head heat loss and also diving, very timely, I did a wreck dive from Fecamp yesterday and had a very bad turn, I became hypothermic on the boat, uncontrolled shivering and was close to collapse, I couldnt remove my stab jacket, my palms gloves anything or even attach myself to the boat with a mousqeton and had to be dragged out, they removed my wet suit, dried me down and laid me out under blankets and clothing etc, the very first thing that they did was to put a beanie hat on my head before a T shirt or anything else.

The water was at 9° on the surface and a lot colder at 40m, I had the same wet suit before but without a built in hood and I could not dive beneath 13° for any sustained time unless wearing a cagoule so I know first hand that a lot of heat loss is from the head and believe me that is one organ that you need to keep warm.

I have dived in fresh water at 1° and dried off and dressed in an open car park at 3° before, last year in fact and never got hypothermic but always wearing a cagoule and gloves, i think yesterday was due to the strong current (it was a drift dive), the long wait on the surface for the boat to retrieve us and being run down, in the 2 days beforehand I had effectively done the equivalent of a triathlon swimming running and kayaking.

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Well, I knew I'd read it somewhere!

[url]http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour[/url]

Chancer, that's grim, although one of the reasons that:

a) I bought a drysuit and

b) I eventually stopped diving in northern Europe in spring and winter.

I do remember one of the guys from my dive club getting in a similar situation, long after we got back from a shore dive in Egypt. It was night time, and we were in a camp on the beach, and it was very windy. In the absence of anything other than layers of clothes to get him warmed up, I got the dive crew to fill up some empty water bottles with the hottest water they could take without distorting the bottles themselves, and we placed them around his body and wrapped him in blankets. He looked like a pensioner on Eastbourne beach, but it eventually did the trick.

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Thankfully Betty there was a female as intelligent and caring as you on the boat, the skippers wife, he being our club president, all of the other uncaring Picards just treated it like anything foreign or unknown to them and as an inconvenience, I have seen hypothermia, knew what it was I was suffering and what to do but was barely coherent, I didnt want to make a fuss or spoil their dive but knew it was serious if untended and what needed to be done.

I have said before these people are not good listeners at all and always interrupt and never let you speak, if you do manage to say something its only their wives usually that hear it, so you can imagine the problems I was having trying to communicate whilst trembling uncontrollably and more incoherent than ever, their response was to try to give me whisky by force if necessary, luckily this lady saw the situation for what it was and reacted, we didnt even need to communicate, I could see from her eyes and her actions that she understood and she could see from mine that I was relieved for her to s'occupe de moi.

I was out of it for a few hours, in and out of sleep that is, I knew I was out of danger and the corp tempreature was stabilised but had no feeling in my hands or feet, I knew eventually that they should warm through but I searched in vain for something to cover them with, I was buried in the cabin with all the bags and stuff of all the divers, ironically right at the end I found a blanket right beside me, thats when I knew I hadnt been thinking straight.

When we got to port after their second dive I surfaced, my hands were warm and I had some feeling in my feet but they were like blocks of ice, I thanked her and she confided that she could see I was in trouble and if they didnt do something quick I would likely collapse, I dont actually think any of the guys had any idea of what happened or worse still what could have happened, they have been sending chatty E-mails about the day and they all mention me, not for the hypothermia but for breaking down on the autoroute on the way back and delaying the passengers, I reckon they think that I was just sleeping off a hangover they still cant get their head around the fact I dont drink alcohol hence trying to force whisky down my throat.

Oh and it was my first Nitrox dive but I dont think that had anything to do with it.

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I think that if I were you, in the future I'd be looking for a group with at least a minimum amount of knowledge of diving and the risks involved to go with on my next expedition.

I have known and worked alongside enough professional divers to not regard it as a sport. However my son was attracted to it and did his dive training in Cornwall at an early age. A great deal of this was devoted to dealing with the risks and possible emergencies involved in the sport.

I have the idea that the french equivalent of a diving qualification consists of an official looking bit of paper signed by a copain of a copain, similar to those I've had offered by various job applicants, who, needless to say, were unsuccessful [:)]

 

 

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I can see where you are coming from and yes there is a very inward looking mentality that thinks the whole world will recognise CMAS and FFESSM qualifications they steadfastly refuse to accept the existance of PADI, SSI etc even where there are passerelles in , I was pretty much the most experienced diver in my old club but the gits kept me at niveau 1 for 2 years meaning I wasnt allowed to dive beyond 6m [:(]

The new club is much better, the passerelle to niveau 2 done on my first dive with them, straight on to the exam and validation for niveau 3 and nitrox qualifications to be able to dive with them on the pentecôte holiday, the nitrox was a like you said as I wasnt able to do the formation as I was doing a RIFAP (explained later) on the same day so my training was all of 30 seconds on the boat, I will ask for a bit more info but am glad to have escaped a morning of lectures for so little, there is a further grade Nitrox confirmé that looks a lot more involved, the other guys were being validated for that.

Overall the FFESSM training is better and more serious than PADI and SSI mainly because its not a commercial venture (PADI = pay another dollar in!) and is like the BSAC training I recall from years ago, its only as good as the guys in the club doing it and very heavy on paperwork and officialdom.

Other certification like I have done like TIV, the inspection and verification of the diving cylinders (3000 psi pressure vessels) was done by the comité departmental and frankly it was rubbish as a time served engineer I realised the guy was talking rubbish but didnt know it as he like his peers just believe what they are told and repeat it without question, a lot was bias in favour of French cylinders ironically brought about by Roth whom I once had to audit for our parent company.

I have just completed the RIFAP training (reaction et intervention face aux accidents de plongée) which was carried out by the CHR and am pleased to say that it was excellent, apart from the dive related injuries like barotraumatisms and decompression injuries the first aid, CPR, resuscitation and defibrilator training was the best I have ever known but then the guys are all health and emergency service professionals.

Overall the dive training and reglementation is tougher in France then elsewhere with say PADI/SSI where all they want you to do is to pass, they only do "no decompression dives" with a safety stop but the tables used are derived from the US divers no decompression limits also you always dive in mutual supporting buddy pairs so there is intrinsic safety built in always.

In France and French colonies we can practice saturation diving and have to learn the use of saturation diving tables although in practice everyone uses a dive computer, I am the only person that wants to plan his dive beforehand and has any notion of the depths, times and deco limits, similarly whilst we do usually dive in pairs the certification and prerogatives are on the basis of autonomy, I can dive to 40m alone, with PADI and SSI you cannot, also the French have no notion of buddy checks and mutual support so when push comes to shove even when diving in a pair when push comes to shove you are on your own mate, the other diver is not your buddy he is your binome, meaning two autonomes.

So many differences but its not as bad within the clubs as you think although there is nothing in law prohibiting someone from buying all their gear in decathlon, getting their cylinder filled at a dive shop and going off to their death alone on their first dive which has happened.

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All the divers I've been around have been ex RN (or other, pretend navies [:)]), who regarded civilian tickets as being equivalent to Good Housekeeping Institute stickers [:D], so I have no knowledge of them in practice.

 

 

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Catching up with what's been happening, and I came across this thread which I must admit - sent shivers down my spine! I can't believe in this day and age, and with the amount of proven research by specialists in the subject, civilian dive groups of whatever nationality stick stubbornly to outdated and potentially dangerous practices!

[quote user="Chancer"]Intersesting to read the thoughts about head heat loss and also diving, very timely, I did a wreck dive from Fecamp yesterday and had a very bad turn, I became hypothermic on the boat, uncontrolled shivering and was close to collapse, I couldnt remove my stab jacket, my palms gloves anything or even attach myself to the boat with a mousqeton and had to be dragged out, they removed my wet suit, dried me down and laid me out under blankets and clothing etc, the very first thing that they did was to put a beanie hat on my head before a T shirt or anything else.[/quote]

The standard for retrieval of a cold water casualty should if at all possible, be in a horizontal position in order to prevent sudden pooling and taking blood away from the brain.

Onward treatment should be as gentle as possible with gentle drying by patting - not rubbing, head covered first, casualty located flat with feet towards the bow - especially important in high speed craft, insulated to prevent further heat loss with clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, etc, both under and over the casualty.

From Chancer's further description of events and in his own words,

[quote]I was out of it for a few hours, in and out of sleep that is, I knew I

was out of danger and the corp tempreature was stabilised but had no

feeling in my hands or feet, I knew eventually that they should warm

through but I searched in vain for something to cover them with, I was

buried in the cabin with all the bags and stuff of all the divers,

ironically right at the end I found a blanket right beside me, thats

when I knew I hadnt been thinking straight.[/quote]

then I think you were very lucky as to progress further down the hypothermic scale, once shivering stops and sleep follows, this is usually followed by coma!

You say you were aware your core temperature had stabilised. Can I ask how you knew this as without being able to take a core temperature reading?

The fact that you say you were "out of it" for a few hours indicates the crew and your so called dive colleagues did not take the situation seriously, or they would/should have taken immediate affects in declaring a medical emergency with the number one priority of getting you to a medical facility.

Equally disturbing after the event,

[quote] for breaking down on the autoroute on the way back and delaying the passengers[/quote], what if that breakdown had in fact been a physical breakdown as your body went into a secondary aftershock situation where despite what you think, your core temperature has not returned to normal, causing you to collapse at the wheel?

Hypothermia is a medical emergency which requires hospital assessment and treatment, with warming from the inside out to prevent cardiac problems.

I'd suggest you look at the works of Frank Golden and Mike Tipton, both of whom are acclaimed experts in cold water survival, and perhaps get hold of a copy of their book "Essentials of Sea Survival".

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Worrying to read [:(]

I woukldnt say that they stuck to any practices, all except the kind woman ignored me and/or treated it as an inconvenience, she did put the hat on first followed by rubbing me down and putting on a T shirt, I had to ask for a polaire as the T shirt was nowhere near enough, I had nothing to cover my lower body and was still wearing my wet trunks.

They seemed to blame me for not having a change of clothes with me but I was told to take the minimum on the boat, however my minimum and a Frenchmans mimimum are at the opposite end of the scales.

It was me that insisted on going into the cabin, the skipper didnt want me too because I was wet, it was him who thought whisky was needed, they didnt lay me out although from your quote it appears thats what I wrote, I crawled amongst the stuff and tried to cover my legs which seemed to be feeling the cold more than my trunk, I was facing the other way from what you recommend (will remember next time).

I thought that my core temperature had stabilised because after about 15 minutes out of the wind and under some sort of cover I stopped shivering but my extremities had no feeling and my legs and arms were very cold, sounds like I was wrong and as you say I did zonk out soon after that.

When I woke later and I still have no idea how much time passed, a few hours at least I had feeling in my hands and feet, my hands were warm but the feet like blocks of ice, I was lucid and could talk so I'm sure the corp temperature was stable then although I was very unsteady on my feet and had trouble getting off the boat.

Then all the unloading ande ferrying heavy cylinders, weight belts etc up the ramp warmed me through.

I have experienced similar before in much colder waters, close to zero, that was in a lake though and as soon as I was clothed (which was difficult without feeling in the hands) I went for a run which quickly warmed me through,my instinct told me that was what I needed to do on the baot but there wasnt even room to run on the spot my next instinct was to get under cover, luckily even when not lucid my instincts are far better than the average Picard.

i have been overweight all my life and its only in the last é years that I have been a correct weight and had athletic fitness, I had never before in my life experienced cold extremities, the lack of insulation plays its part but also I suspect my now low blood pressure of  86 / 45.

 

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