Cold water immersion kills in several ways. The colder the water, the greater the chance of death. However, the initial reaction to cold water immersion can occur in water as warm as 77°F. By understanding how your body reacts to cold water, you can prepare for and be better able to respond appropriately, thus increasing your chance of survival. It's important to protect yourself, and your human and canine passengers.
There are four stages of cold water immersion.
Stage 1: Initial "cold shock"