Atom shows how pants can save lives

Posted at 04/04/2014 7:27 PM | Updated as of 04/05/2014 12:54 AM

MANILA -- What should you do if your boat is sinking?

Atom Araullo, in his ABS-CBN News program "Red Alert" aired on Friday, gave some tips on how to survive if you find yourself on board a sinking ship, including using your pants as a flotation device.

Araullo stressed that preparation is key. Each boat passenger should wear a life vest, while the boat should also have other flotation devices such as lifebuoys.

Passengers should make sure that the boat they are riding has the necessary permits, is not "colorum," and is not overloaded.

Also, always consider the weather and sea conditions.

When a mishap strikes while at sea -- say the boat encounters engine trouble, the boat's outrigger breaks, or strong waves batter the boat -- try not to lose focus in order to save not just your own life but those of your loved ones.

If there is already a hole on the vessel, try to cover it with a cloth. Then use a cup or any similar item to take the water out in case it starts to enter the boat.

But if the boat is already about to flip over and sink, it would be better to jump to the water to avoid being trapped inside the vessel.

According to Dr. Ted Esguerra, a rescue doctor from the Energy Development Corporation, "entrapment in a compartment" or being trapped in an overturned vessel would be difficult especially to those who do not know how to swim.

He noted that if you're wearing a life vest, you will have difficulty diving. Thus, the chances for you to get out of the boat and survive are lower.

So your way to survive is to take off your life vest first and immediately find a way out.

It is also important that you do not drink sea water to prevent salt water poisoning. Moreover, it will also be more dangerous if fuel has already started to leak from the sunken vessel into the waters.

Now that you're not wearing your life vest anymore, how do you keep yourself afloat? One answer: take off your pants and use it as a flotation device.

First, tie both ends of your pants.

"Itong pantalon ninyo subukan niyong punuin ng hangin. Yung mismong bewang, yun yung hahawakan natin sa ilalim ng tubig. Tapos lulubog tayo, yung ating hininga susubukan natin ipasok sa ating pantalon," Araullo said.

The Philippine Life Saving Society also showed Araullo three ways of floating in the water: turtle float, jellyfish float and supine float.

"Ang turtle float ay mainam para makatagal sa tubig at hindi mapagod kakalangoy. Ang jellyfish float ay mainam kung ikaw ay may leg cramps. Maabot mo kasi ang iyong binti para mamasahe ito. Pwede namang gawin ang supine float para maipahinga ang mga braso at binti habang nakaangat ang ulo," Araullo said.

Meanwhile, Esguerra also demonstrated another floating position -- the HELP or the heat emission lessening posture.

He explained, "Kahit sabihin nating tropical pero pag medyo lumamig ng konti yan at ikaw ay nauubusan na ng asukal sa katawan dahil matagal ka nang lumulutang, pwede ka na ring tamaan ng hypothermia."