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How does cold water kill?

If you fall into cold water, your skin will cool very rapidly. Rapid skin cooling results in the involuntary gasp response. This isn’t just a little gasp, it’s a huge gasp that totally fills your lungs. You may experience several of these gasps in a row. If your head is underwater when you gasp, you will immediately drown. One gasp underwater will result in you having enough water in your lungs to kill you. (Source: British Rowing)

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