Big Sur cliff plunge survival hydration

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by ChapmanF, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    So the story of Angela Hernandez surviving seven days after descending 200 feet of a Big Sur cliff in her Jeep has been in the news lately.

    I'm astonished at the media coverage of what she drank. The first story I clicked on said she survived “by drinking water from the radiator of her vehicle” :eek: :eek: :eek:

    It's the headline of this Reuters story!

    Multiple stories (like this one) credit the “by drinking water from the radiator of her vehicle” quote to a press release from the California Highway Patrol (though I haven't found that yet), so apparently even the CHP didn't stop and think “wait a minute, did we get that part right?”

    Finally, with enough googling, I found stories like this one that say “she used a radiator hose to siphon water from a nearby stream”, or (like this one), “survived by using the hose from her jeep's radiator to siphon water from a creek”.

    It's good to see some outlets doing the necessary double-take and making the extra effort to get it right.

    If you had not just fallen off a cliff, maybe you might be able to survive seven days after drinking radiator water, but that would be longer than expected, and you wouldn't enjoy them at all.

    I wonder how many future ethylene glycol deaths there might be as a consequence of one goofed-up CHP press release and a bunch of news outlets not thinking to question it.

    -Chap
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    keep an eye on 'jackass'.
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Seems to be a whole Reddit thread with a number of posters just taking at face value what CHP said about her drinking from the radiator, instead of finding the more careful articles saying she used the hose to drink from a stream....

    -Chap
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    uber riders would have no idea...
     
  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    # radiatorwaterchallenge

    There were several stories in Dubbaya Dubbaya 2 where airmen who were shot down in North Africa survived by drinking water out of the radiators of shot up vehicles, HOWEVER(!!) this was back in those quaint days before emissions devices which necessitated adding junk like ethylene glycol and propylene glycol to the water - so when I heard the story I sorta figured that the newsies might just have gotten that titillating little fact all the way wrong.

    I was not surprised by this. ;)


    Fun Fact:
    If you think that ingesting icky things like propylene glycol is bad for you, then you may not want to read this if you're one of the unfortunates that is into vaping..... (from the Googles)

    "Reputable" E Liquids Contain a Combination of These Ingredients:
    • Propylene Glycol (PG) and/or Vegetable Glycerin (VG) These are the two most common ingredients that you'll find in e liquid since they're used as the suspension agent for the flavorings and nicotine. ...
    • Non-Oil Food Grade Flavorings. ...
    • Nicotine....[yeah, riiiiiight!] ;)
     
  6. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Propylene glycol is non toxic and not to be confused with very toxic ethylene glycol. Both can be anti freezes.

    PG is also used in theatrical smoke/for machines. Sort of like community vaping without nicotine.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    somehow, vaping is even more obnoxious than smoking.(n)
     
  8. Mark57

    Mark57 2021 Tesla Model 3 LR AWD

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    And DAMN are they bold in your face about it. Very quick to spout how safe it is while exhaling next to you.
     
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  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Not in my region. We have some fairly strong laws about smoking in public places, and vaping is not exempt.
     
  10. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    I'll give them this:

    Sometimes the noxious fumes that they exhale at least sometimes smell better than hemp-heads or nicotine junkies, and it does not seem to cling to the inside of a car like smoke does.
    BUT....whoever came up with the JUUL "starter packs" ought to be brought up on charges of crimes against humanity and tried in an open court with the parents of newly nicotine addicted children as jurors.....

    Big tobacco's got NOTHING on them.....
     
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  11. pilotgrrl

    pilotgrrl Senior Member

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    I challenge Reddit readers to drink directly from their radiator hoses. That might help clean up the gene pool.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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  13. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    More importantly, ill considered. Reddit readers are whomever, and reading with motivations that cannot be remotely sensed. Reddit writers (posters) invite others to judge them according to posted content. Some of those judgements may be unkind.

    Thinning herds with a chronic clumsy toxin is ill considered in another way. One might hope that only those 'deserving' slow, painful deaths make accurate decisions about themselves here. But always, collateral damage includes medical staff who are not always equipped to diagnose blood levels of ethylene glycol (it is not in everyone's 'test-for' list). So, medicals working out those cases are unavailable for other work. On behalf of innocents. You might be one of those innocents someday.

    I'll not suppose that all ~5000.yr in US who get diagnosed and treated for ethylene glycol tox. correctly chose themselves for Darwinian Dismissal. If others suppose that, it's on them and their presumption of perfect insight.
     
  14. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    If it's not already perfectly obvious, if you crash yourself into a survival situation, no liquid of your car is for drinking. No solid part of your car is for eating. Beyond those, many mechanical parts may aid your survival.

    Famous Bear Grylls famously drank his urine on camera. On camera is actually the important phrase here. It means he had support staff ready to respond if their media property got into a bad way.

    You, in survival situation, will not. You probably have two kidneys that probably retain their 'designed-in' overcapacity. So you can drink pee for a while, until they hit the line. If it comes to that, you will have de-survivaled yourself to some extent.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    ... which is one reason my cars have aftermarket liquids stashed inside. Plastic bottles under seats, foils pouches in a trunk survival kit. More than a gallon right now, maybe falling to a couple quarts in winter.
    Would it be best, once discovering oneself in such a no-potable-water pickle, to immediate start saving the initial thinnest pee for possible consumption later?

    It seems to me that it will take some time from notice of the dire situation, until one actually becomes desperate enough to actually drink it. Long enough to have needed several pee breaks in the interim. It seems that if such consumption is necessary, earlier thinner excretions would be less toxic and more useful than current excretions.
     
  16. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Pee 'drink now or store'? question points to a ubiquitous microbial enzyme urease. Never thought about it, but as you press...

    Store. Then boil or at least heat your yellow bottle. Urease will have converted urea into ammonia and CO2 and both those depart upon heating. Remains a more kidney-friendly beverage. Drink up.
     
  17. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    I reviewed for unnamed journal a soil-ecology manuscript by unnamed authors. They measured enzyme urease in all their treatments and not surprisingly found no differences anywhere.

    Says I "You effing idiots, urease is everywhere and teaches nothing. You learned how to do this easy assay in school and bring it for no reason to the big leagues".

    OK I'm a hard grader, I get that. But here finally fuzz accidentally leads to a beyond-Bear-Grylls treatment of human-in-distress water balance.
     
  18. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Fire. You always gotta be able to make fire. This is our genus' millions-year big thought.
     
  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If you manage to crash into a survival situation but the A/C still runs, how about condensate off the evaporator?

    This at least seems like a more interesting idea now that most vehicles seem to have cabin filters ahead of the evaporator, so it isn't just completely covered in ... everything that ever got sucked in the intake.

    We know from the musty smells that some forms of life may be growing in there anyway, but are they of kinds that would make the water bad to drink?

    Do you do anything to prevent that stash from freezing? Or just assume you'll be able to make enough fire to thaw it when needed (or hammer chunks off and suck on them)?

    Is there any beverage with a low enough freezing point to be stashable in winter and still useful for actual hydration (as opposed to just helping you feel better about the situation)?

    That was my next question too, but I'm glad you asked it. (I'd probably have said 'light', as opposed to 'dark'; something in my brain recoils at 'thin', or its implied contrary, being used in that context.)

    This leaves me a little uneasy though. I mean, is decomposition by urease the only thing that's happening in that storage period? Or, as you describe urease as a microbial enzyme, who's making it?

    Seems a 'normal' lab result in the bacteria column is in fact zero (zero counted in one high-power microscope field of course, not necessarily zero zero) when fresh, but it seems like all bets are off shortly thereafter. Are we to assume the multiplying critters are all nonpathogenic? Or boil, not just heat, long enough to do them in? That might demand more fire.

    As for the constituents (urea, creatine, etc.) that the kidneys are in business to exclude, how well are those absorbed in the gut anyway? It would be convenient if the answer were "not very", so you could count on at least some fraction of that stuff just passing on through while you efficiently reclaim the water, increasing kidney workload some but not by the worst-case amount.

    But I don't know the actual answer. Somebody probably does. They seem to have pretty exacting systems for water reclamation on the ISS....

    There may at least be a liquid in the car that could be of help with that.

    -Chap
     
    #19 ChapmanF, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  20. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    condensate off the evaporator
    Musty, Icky, Makes me think of Legionnaires' disease

    urease the only thing that's happening in that storage period
    No

    urease as a microbial enzyme, who's making it?
    Ubiquitous microbes. Maybe you think you can sterilize them away. I doubt it

    Are we to assume the multiplying critters are all nonpathogenic?
    No. Frankly I'm still looking for that nearby stream/seep with a liberated radiation hose.

    how well are those absorbed in the gut anyway?
    Very well. Only way to "pass on through" is poop. Pee is 'internal' All pee was previously circulating in bloodstream. People know that already, right?

    water reclamation on the ISS
    Excellent system. Emphasizes reverse osmosis with lots of bells and whistles to keep membranes from clogging. I'd drink that, but ideally diluted with some bourbon I'd smuggled aboard. I mean, since we are all about wild speculation here.
     
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