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MNZ Welcomes Int'l Cold Water Expert

A visiting international expert in cold water survival will have potentially life-saving advice for New Zealanders taking to the water this summer, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says.

Professor Michael Tipton is Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and the co-author of the book Essentials of Sea Survival – a comprehensive guide to open water survival.

He is in New Zealand this week giving two addresses on the effects of cold water immersion – something he has studied for more than 25 years.

MNZ Manager Recreational Boating Jim Lott says Prof Tipton has revolutionised our understanding of why people can die so quickly in cold water, long before hypothermia sets in.

“This is an area which Prof Tipton has explored for more than two decades. The shock of sudden cold water immersion can have a paralysing effect on the human body and is often the cause of death following a boating accident.

“Prof Tipton has not only studied the science of these effects, but also researched practical ways people can increase their chances of survival once in the water. In a country like New Zealand, where thousands take to the water every year, this information could be key to saving lives.

”Prof Tipton has also done a lot of work in the development of lifejackets which can lengthen survival times for those who find themselves in the water.”

Mr Lott says Prof Tipton will be giving two addresses, to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, and to the Water Safety New Zealand Conference, in Wellington, this week.

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Coming at the onset of the summer boating season, Prof Tipton’s visit has drawn interest from water safety agencies, recreational boaties, commercial fishermen, search and rescue personnel as well as the wider public.

“We can all learn a lot from Prof Tipton’s years of research. We think his visit will provide much of interest for all New Zealanders to think about.”

Prof Tipton will be speaking at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland on 24 November, and will then act as keynote speaker at the Water Safety New Zealand conference in Wellington on 26-27 November.


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