from gravity, I flew around in spaceˇK" Jacques Cousteau, diver
waters are among the most dangerous places in the world. There is
little or no light and the pressure from the water is too great
for the human body to stand - an unprotected diver would be crushed.
suits, such as the NEWTSUIT, allow people to explore the depths,
and are also used in rescue situations. In emergencies, a range
of special rescue vessels is used. Submersibles are mini-submarines
which can transfer emergency supplies to the crews of damaged submarines,
and can rescue crew members if necessary. "Hyperbaric chambers"
bring injured deep-sea divers to the surface at a steady pressure:
if they ascend too quickly, they can suffer from a potentially fatal
illness called "the bends".
12 freezing hours stranded at the sea, the sight of the lifeboat
was like a miracle." Survivor of shipwreck, North Sea, 1988
Britain alone coastguard services receive about 5,000 calls a year.
Coastguard monitor shipping activity and are usually the first to
call out naval or air rescue services. A usual lifeboat crew consists
of between five and seven people whereas inflatable lifeboats are
crewed by just to or three. Around 1,500 lives are saved every year
by volunteer lifeboat crews. Many distress calls come from people
caught unawares by an incoming tide or by an incoming tide or by
waves which suddenly crash on to the shore, leaving them cut off
and stranded on rocks or in a bay. Some of the stranded attempt
to swim to shore which can end in disaster as strong tidal currents
can carry a person becomes cold and wet, there is a risk of hypothermia
- a potentially fatal condition in which the body temperature drops
well below normal. Often, the first task of a rescuer is to wrap
the survivor in warm blankets to help raise the body temperature.
With the growing popularity of watersports, the number of emergency
call-outs increases. In open seas, currents can wash small boats
way off course. Here, US coastguards rescue a group of refugees
from Haiti, whose boat had been washed off course.
"I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth: everything that
is on the land shall die." God's word's in the Bible
just a few days, relentless rain can submerge whole towns. "Flash
floods" are even more terrifying because of the speed at which they
happen. In storms, torrential rain can flood normally calm rivers
in under 30 minutes. This is not surprising when a raindrop can
measure 1 cm (1/2 in) in diameter and a hailstone up to 10 cm (3in)
is heavy and, when it is moving at great speed, it becomes a battering
ram that can sweep whole houses along in its path. Cars can also
become death traps. Witnesses report hearing screams for help above
the roar of flood waters, but are often powerless to help victims
trapped areas, people often use boats or rafts to get away from
battle against flooding is fought by building effective barriers
and by forecasting floods before they happen so the area can be
evacuated. But, emergency warnings often come too late, or people
refuse to abandon their homes. Floods don't just cause drowning.
Mud and broken sewage pipes contaminate drinking water, causing
disease to spread and, without aid, many people starve.