GROTON, CT (WFSB) – Following the deaths of 34 people from a boat fire in California, experts are explaining what to do during an aircraft or water emergency.

For more than three decades, Survival Systems in Groton has been teaching people how to survive water accidents.

Veteran survival instructor Michael Mulford teaches people how to survive the water, should anyone make a water landing in an aircraft.

He also teaches how to exit the aircraft, deploy a raft, put on a life vest, and survive until help arrives.

“It’s definitely helpful to do it hands on and actually swim because you realize that your brain kicks in, in a different way versus reading it and seeing it on a screen,” said Erinn Springer, survival student.

You learn in the class that even the simple task of putting on a life vest and inflating it is different in the water.

“The average passenger can’t put on a live vest in seven to eight seconds, which is the time it should take to pull that off, put it on and around your waist,” said Stefaan Uzzell, an instructor.

Hypothermia is the biggest threat to surviving and instructors say putting your body in a simple large trash bag could buy you time.

It also helps if passengers huddle together, locking arms and legs, to keep warm.

“What we teach them here is to suppress that urge to panic, understand where those stresses are coming from, and teach people how to deal with those stresses,” Mulford said.

Working together, people can survive and find shelter in a raft.

For more information, click here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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