Cameron Gosling and his friends were looking for a fun way to cool off in the summer heat and decided to go for a dip in the nearby river. Wasting no time, Cameron jumped right in while the others were more cautious about it, and he made a terrifying discovery in the water that he had no clue was there.
Despite h0w hot it was on July 5, 2015, the river water was rather cold, which Cameron thought would be a refreshing reprieve from the heat. As the friends slowly waded into the water to get accustomed to the chilly temperature of it, Cameron plunged right in but never came back up after his dive. The friends didn’t know what happened to him until it was too late when they found out why he was stuck under water.
The 14-year-old from Durham, England was a good swimmer and a healthy kid but suffered a surprising condition from the cold water that could happen to anyone. After realizing something had gone horribly wrong after his jump, the boy’s friends pulled him out of the water and tried to save him, which unfortunately failed. Cameron was declared dead and now his mother wants to warn others about the shocking danger that killed her son.
When Fiona Gosling gave her son permission to go swimming that afternoon, never in her life did she think it would be the last time she saw him alive. The temperature of the water caused Cameron to experience cold water immersion, also known as cold water shock, which essentially killed him as soon as he submerged himself in the water.
What can happen upon sudden introduction to such frigid water is that it causes the blood vessels to contract, making blood flow difficult and causing the heart to pump harder and blood pressure to rise. This can lead to a heart attack or even just panic which can cause someone to drown. People typically gasp for air instinctively as to prepare to hold their breath under water, which if timed incorrectly, could make someone aspirate water which can lead to drowning.
If the individual manages to survive the first round, they may not be so lucky with what happens to the body next. What’s known as cold incapacitation happens as phase two, which causes all the muscles in the body to slow down, preventing a person from being able to save themselves by keeping afloat.
Phase one can hit within minutes of jumping into cold water, and phase two typically sets in ten minutes later. A person may not even know they were in phase one of the shock before the paralysis sets in. Cameron’s mother hopes that others can learn from what happened to her son by being aware of this unseen and lesser-known water danger, urging swimmers to wade in water rather than just jumping right in.
“Don’t just jump in,” she said. “If you’re going to go in just start with your feet… Get your body ready.”
What happened to Fiona’s son is tragic and the loss of a child is unfathomable. For her to share her story in hopes of saving one mom from experiencing her pain, is truly honorable and brave.