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Reply #24: Don't thrash, get body horizontal before you sink further and 'swim' ... [View All]

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fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:23 PM
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24. Don't thrash, get body horizontal before you sink further and 'swim' ...
Quicksand is a mixture of sand and water that forms a shifting mass. It yields easily to pressure and sucks down and engulfs objects resting on its surface. It varies in depth and is usually localized. Quicksand commonly occurs on flat shores, in silt-choked rivers with shifting watercourses, and near the mouths of large rivers. If you are uncertain whether a sandy area is quicksand, toss a small stone on it. The stone will sink in quicksand. Although quicksand has more suction than mud or muck, you can cross it just as you would cross a bog. Lie face down, spread your arms and legs, and move slowly across

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/crossing-4.php

Additional Information:
Escaping from Quicksand According to The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, escaping from quicksand is easier than you might think. Stepping into quicksand is like stepping in a pond of goo. Your weight causes you to sink. A person's natural instinct is to thrash around in an attempt to get out. In fact, this is the worst thing you could do because you only succeed in forcing yourself down farther in the quicksand pit. The best thing to do is to move slowly to bring yourself to the surface, lie back, and try to float on your back. According to the experts, you'll be able to use your arms to slowly paddle to safety.

http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000088


If you ever find yourself in a pit of quicksand, don't worry -- it's not going to swallow you whole, and it's not as hard to escape from as you might think.

The human body has a density of 62.4 pounds per cubic foot (1 g/cm3) and is able to float on water. Quicksand is denser than water -- it has a density of about 125 pounds per cubic foot (2 g/cm3) -- which means you can float more easily on quicksand than on water. The key is to not panic. Most people who drown in quicksand, or any liquid for that matter, are usually those who panic and begin flailing their arms and legs.

It may be possible to drown in quicksand if you were to fall in over your head and couldn't get your head back above the surface, although it's rare for quicksand to be that deep. Most likely, if you fall in, you will float to the surface. However, the sand-to-water ratio of quicksand can vary, causing some quicksand to be less buoyant.

"By the same token, if the quicksand were deep, as in up to your waist, it would be very difficult to extract yourself from a dense slurry, not unlike very wet concrete," said Rick Wooten, senior geologist for Engineering Geology and Geohazards for the North Carolina Geological Survey. "The weight of the quicksand would certainly make it difficult to move if you were in above your knees."

more:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/quicksand2.htm

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