How Long Will It Take For Me To Be Rescued?

Rescue depends on a lot of different variables, all of which take time – sometimes a lot of time. If you’re exceptionally fortunate and someone just happens to stumble across you while you’re floating around out there on the water, great, but don’t count on it.

Common Sources of Delay

Low Visibility
It’s very difficult to spot a small object like a person or a kayak from the air. It can also be very difficult to spot them from a boat – particularly if conditions are poor. Keep in mind that a person wearing a PFD has only their head and upper shoulders exposed. That’s not an easy target, even when the light is favorable and the water is flat calm.

Be Realistic
Cold water immersion is always a race against the clock. You have to survive long enough to be rescued. To do that, you need enough thermal protection to keep you alive – for however long it takes help to arrive. Even if you have a cell phone, VHF radio, or an automatic signaling device like a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), rescue is going to take time.