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Syrian Father survived, Mother and children drown.

(66 Posts)
howtorebuild Thu 10-Dec-15 10:29:57

I have noted a few cases where the Father survived the rest of his family. Do we not hear the story if the Mother is the lone survivor or are more Women and children drowning, if so why? I understand once on the sea there are reports of attacks by pirates coastguards and their boats punctured, so it's not just sea conditions involved.

originalmavis Thu 10-Dec-15 10:35:16

I suppose a man is physically stronger. Not sure if girls would learn to swim in countries where, for example, education for females isn't always an option.

VestalVirgin Thu 10-Dec-15 10:43:49

As for the man being stronger, that has nothing to do with drowning. Women have a higher percentage of body fat which should keep them afloat and protect them from hypothermia in the cold water.

I guess it is more that women are not taught to swim, wear more clothes they are not allowed to shed and/or are expected to save the children, while the man is just expected to keep himself alive.

Maybe we should tell people in Syria to give the little children to the father instead of the mother, for holding while on the boat.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Thu 10-Dec-15 12:01:11

I imagine it's do to with the clothes - did you ever do the pyjama swimming lesson for water safety? It was so hard to swim in just slightly loose clothing, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to swim with layers and layers of fabric that you're terrified to shed.

I also imagine that headscarves would be very dangerous in the water if they came loose - it's bad enough getting hair in your face.

Elendon Thu 10-Dec-15 12:18:38

It's to do with clothing, the more clothing a woman wears, especially if they are long skirted, the more likelihood her drowning.

There was a shipwreck off Ireland once in the 19thC, sailing from Liverpool to London. The women wore all their clothes to save on extra luggage. When the boat went down, most of the women drowned because the extra weight of the clothing weighed them down. They also clung onto their children, leading them to die also.

One awful fact about the Titanic, the first human recovered was a 10 year old Swedish boy. He had been found with three coats on, presumably to keep him warm as he entered the icy seas. It was a contributory factor towards his death.

Wearing lots of clothes leads to drowning and then helps the body to rise to the surface.

VestalVirgin Thu 10-Dec-15 12:23:35

I imagine it's do to with the clothes - did you ever do the pyjama swimming lesson for water safety?

No - where do you get that lesson?
I would really like to learn how to swim with my clothes on, get undressed under water, and escape unharmed.

According to Terry Pratchett, there is a boarding school for young ladies on the Discworld where one can (and has to) learn that skill. I would immediately apply if I lived on the Discworld.

Elendon Thu 10-Dec-15 12:29:08

It's possible to swim with tight fitting clothes. Loose fitting pj's or a nightie is very difficult.

You can replicate this of sorts. Lie in a bath with loose fitting clothes. Then try to get up. They really weigh you down, even cotton.

Or just put clothes in a deep bath, and then try to lift them out.

Elendon Thu 10-Dec-15 12:29:41

Then try it with wool!

Elendon Thu 10-Dec-15 12:32:00

Please don't lie in a deep bath wearing woollens. It's very dangerous.

Lancelottie Thu 10-Dec-15 12:34:04

The mother was three weeks postnatal. Three weeks.

I don't think many of us would have survived a sea swim at that point.

BeyondThirty Thu 10-Dec-15 12:34:21

Vestal, it was part of standard swimming lessons, did it when i was about 10 i think? You jump in wearing pyjamas, have to tread water while you take them off, then tie knots in the legs and blow the bottoms up like a little liferaft.

My dad has had "swimming lessons" that i would have loved to do when i was able. To work in the north sea, they have to pass a simulation of a helicoptor crashing into COLD, DARK water. He was unimpressed when i said that sounded fun grin

originalmavis Thu 10-Dec-15 12:35:49

Not sure is a woman would be more likely to gather up her children and try to keep them afloat? I don't know how long I could tread water hding onto a child.

Those poor 7 children, one only days old.

parachutesilk Thu 10-Dec-15 12:38:58

We had those lessons too (the ones with the pyjamas, not the helicopter ones!)

VestalVirgin Thu 10-Dec-15 12:39:33

Vestal, it was part of standard swimming lessons, did it when i was about 10 i think? You jump in wearing pyjamas, have to tread water while you take them off, then tie knots in the legs and blow the bottoms up like a little liferaft.

Sounds fun. We never did that in school. sad

And besides being fun, it also could safe your life one day to know how to do this.

Obviously, rather than giving swimming in clothes lessons to Syrian women, one should just give them safe transportation.

@original: Well, as the mother would be the person to hold the child in the first place, yes, I am pretty sure most would try to keep their children afloat. And some would drown rather than letting their children drown. It all comes together.

SapphireStarfish Thu 10-Dec-15 12:41:34

Also perhaps women's survival could be hindered as they are looking after their children in these situations whereas maybe if some of the men have only themselves to protect in these life threatening situations it's easier

SapphireStarfish Thu 10-Dec-15 12:42:57

@vestal it's usually done in school, ,we did it around 10/11 yrspca old

BeyondThirty Thu 10-Dec-15 12:44:39

I wonder, if the dad kept the child, whether that then makes the child more likely to survive, or the dad more likely to drown?

But yes, safe transportation is obviously the best solution. Not obvious to the powers that be though sad

BeyondThirty Thu 10-Dec-15 12:46:29

I must have done it before 10/11 in my (outside of school) swimming lessons, as when they did it in school (i think it was the last year of primary?) i had already done it?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Thu 10-Dec-15 12:51:17

We had to do it for a school swimming lesson in Y8 - only thin pyjamas but it was incredibly difficult. I made the mistake of wearing a non button up top and pulling it over my head was really, truly scary. If sodden cotton trousers can be so disabling, I can only imagine how dangerous normal clothes are.

We had to be able to get out of pyjamas in under a minute to pass as apparently after that time your ability to tread water and float significantly decreases because you get tired of fighting the dead weight.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 10-Dec-15 13:56:21

I imagine it's do to with the clothes - did you ever do the pyjama swimming lesson for water safety?

School made me do it (turned out it was possible to make the usual miserable experience of weekly swimming lessons with shouty games mistress even more miserable - although oddly I'm not a bad swimmer and now enjoy the odd sea or posh hotel swim)

BubsandMoo Thu 10-Dec-15 15:39:42

There really aren't sufficient words to describe how awful this is. But I just wanted to say that I really don't think that Syrian fathers are just swimming away from capsized dinghies saving themselves and leaving their wives and children to drown, which is what has come across from a few posters, hopefully unintentionally.

TheCarpenter Thu 10-Dec-15 16:52:06

If I was going to be a massive cynic, and I feel like one today. I'd say the media will keep interviewing the men, as it fits in with some views regarding who is fleeing. As my MIL said 'All fit young men coming here to steal our jobs and rape our women'. hmm

I'm sure the Fathers love their poor children as much as the Mothers do. But I bet we would have more calls for safe transport if the media was filled with bereaved Mothers instead.

grimbletart Thu 10-Dec-15 16:58:43

You only have to hand wash a thick wool sweater and then lift it out of the bowl to see how heavy it is. Now imagine that plus skirt and other clothing as well. Amazing any woman survives.

SapphireStarfish Thu 10-Dec-15 17:46:14

@thecarpenter I think you're probably spot on. We haven't got a clue whats really going on around the world

IShouldBeSoLurky Thu 10-Dec-15 17:49:04

TheCarpenter is it not more likely that men are willing to be interviewed and women aren't? Or men are taking on the sort of "community leader" type roles?

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