Immersion Victim Search Length

TitleImmersion Victim Search Length
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsGolden, F
Conference NameInternational Medical-Rescue Conference
Date Published09/1997
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationSan Diego, California, USA
Call Number12
Other Numbers084

One of the most difficult decisions confronting a rescuer or Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinator is how long to continue the search for victims. The possibility that there may be an outside chance of a survivor still just hanging on to the last vestige of life is a powerful emotional drive to continue the search operation, even though those conducting the rescue search may be approaching their limits of safe endurance. Conversely, the potential danger, to tired rescue crews operating in adverse conditions, of unnecessarily continuing the search long after there is any realistic hope of survival through fear of adverse litigation must also be considered. Regrettably, no precise mathematical formula exists to predict survival times with any certainty. Some crude guidelines have been published over the years giving predicted survival curves but how reliable is such information? This paper will examine some such survival times and discuss their limitations.