This year’s Lifesaving Foundation Conference will hear about an Irish navy officer’s experiences captaining a refugee rescue ship in the Mediterranean last summer. 

The 7th International Drowning Prevention and Rescue Conference in Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare on 29 August to 1 September, will also feature world leading survival physiologist Prof Mike Tipton and survival psychologist Dr John Leach, who will jointly discuss human responses to sudden immersion in deep cold water.

The conference opens on Thursday 29 August with a seminar entitled ‘I Am Not Drowning Project’ to consider the concept of self-rescue in common drowning situations. The project researches the concept of self-rescue by drowning casualties in a number of common drowning situations.

Dr John Leach said that disaster may strike so suddenly that it catches people completely unawares and that the period of impact commonly lasts from a few seconds to many minutes, during which there can be an immediate overwhelming of the senses as sensory information – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste – floods the brain.

He uses the term ‘a decision dilemma’ and says that in this condition “peoples survival actions are often ineffective because they are unsure of how to act – of which option to choose from those he or she thinks are open to them.

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