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  #1  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:32 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Navy SEAL training--do they really drown them?

A coworker told me that Navy SEAL trainees are actually drowned, then revived, as part of their training. Her source: a former coworker (who quit working there before I started) whose daughter is dating a SEAL.

Well, so she would know, right?

I could not believe this. In my lexicon, drowned in water means dead (as opposed to drowning your sorrows, which does not much to eliminate said sorrows permanently). If you can resuscitate a person then you say they nearly drowned. So I went to Google and ultimately ended up on this site, where it gives the following physical evolution (hey, that's what it says--my mind tries to make that "evaluation") where the first three items are:

Quote:
50 meter underwater swim PASS/FAIL
Underwater knot tying PASS/FAIL
Drown proofing test PASS/FAIL
It's that last that gives me pause, or maybe it's the phrasing. Pass, you don't drown, fail = ??? The others, not so much. Underwater swim, you come up for air before the 50-meter mark, you fail; knot tying, pretty self-explanatory. But could somebody please explain what's involved in drown-proofing, or a drown-proofing test?
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:36 PM
Cerowyn Cerowyn is offline
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Drown-proofing does not include drowning the person, although that's a pretty amusing concept. HowStuffWorks has a useful description of what it involves.

The vast majority of people who say they are/were Navy SEALS (or Army Rangers, Green Berets, SAS, Spetnatz, etc.) aren't/weren't.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:36 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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I think the drown-proofing test is where you have to enter the water fully clothed, then remove your shoes (and probably tie them together by their laces and put them about your neck), then remove your trousers and convert them into a flotation device.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:39 PM
Valgard Valgard is offline
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I think that those are some of the basic requirements to apply to BUDS...probably gets much worse once you're actually in the program.

Back in college one my friends was a Navy veteran who knew a bunch of SEALS from his line of work (antiterrorist stuff), IIRC he said that "drown proofing" means being able to bob up and down in deep water with your hands tied behind your back. He said that the basic technique was to hold your breath, kick up to the surface while exhaling, grab a breath at the surface and repeat.

Ah, here's an explanation:

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/65...n_proofing.htm
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:39 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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A couple of points. Drowning results in death. If you didn't die, you didn't drown. You may come back from a near drowning, but not a drowning.

Second point. Drown proofing does not involve drowning. Drown proofing is a low energy technique for treading water so you can stay afloat for many hours without drowning, hence the name. If someone passes the drown proofing test, it means they have mastered that skill. If they fail, it just means they need more training, so if they are in a life threatening situation, they won't drown.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:43 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Navy Seals typically don't talk about their training or even the fact that they are Seals. To anyone. They are constrained from talking about any aspect by their DOD clearances.

One usually hears this tripe from wannabes.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:56 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse
Navy Seals typically don't talk about their training or even the fact that they are Seals. To anyone. They are constrained from talking about any aspect by their DOD clearances.

One usually hears this tripe from wannabes.
My coworker is not a Seal wannabe, and I believe the young lady who is the coworker's former coworker's daughter is in fact dating a legitimate Navy seal (anyway he's really in the Navy*).

I am relieved to hear about this drown proofing. It just means floating? I'm pretty sure we didn't call it "drown proofing" back when I took lifesaving but that was several decades ago and I could have forgotten. (And I'll bet that "tread water for 45 minutes" test would be way easier for me to pass today--hell, I probably could do it with my hands tied behind my back.)

*Or at least the mother has convinced my coworker of this
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2005, 09:57 PM
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My favorite story from a purported Navy Seal was was the time he was delivered to a black ops mission by being shot out of a Submarine's torpedo tube.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2005, 10:02 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse
They are constrained from talking about any aspect by their DOD clearances.
Do you have a cite for this? I have seen a very detailed documentary (Discovery Channel? TLC?) on SEAL training. Why would individual SEALs be proscribed from discussing ANY aspect of their training, while cameras were allowed to record the entire thing?
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2005, 10:10 PM
Scruloose Scruloose is offline
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We did drown-proofing in Coast Guard boot camp. As Fear Itself points out, it's to stay afloat for extended periods of time using very little energy. Although, we didn't have to do it with our hands bound behind our backs. That would have been a challenge.

Anyway, it's a neat technique and it works well.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2005, 10:21 PM
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is offline
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A sailor trying to impress a young girl with feats of daring-do? Who would've thought.....
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2005, 10:22 PM
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is offline
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Sorry. Forgot what forum I was in.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2005, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
My favorite story from a purported Navy Seal was was the time he was delivered to a black ops mission by being shot out of a Submarine's torpedo tube.
You too? I have a friend that told someone that while he was in the marines, he would go from ship to ship by being shot out of torpedo bays. He is prone to lying, but the girl he told this was gullible too, so he may have just been messing with her.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2005, 01:51 AM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
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I know the Marines have some pretty nasty water training during boot camp. The last time my ex bf and I were at a hotel in a swimming pool, he decided to show me just what the training was like (of course, he was probably exaggerating to make himself sound more bad ass):

Quote:
Ex: Ok, so first the instructor sits in the water like this :: ducks under the water with just his eyes, ears and top of the head out--- I thought he looked like a hippo ). Ok so now come at me.

Me: Hell no

Ex: Just do it! (I relent). Ok, so when we come at them, they spring out of the water like way up in the air, tackle you (shows me the basic move they do), and procede to kick your ass, trying to drown you. If you pass out, they pull you out of the water, give you a few minutes to catch your breath, then you have to go back. I passed out 6 times. I SERIOUSLY saw my life flash before my eyes.
I've heard similar accounts from various other marines, although I'm sure my ex was being overly dramatic.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2005, 02:12 AM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Do you have a cite for this? I have seen a very detailed documentary (Discovery Channel? TLC?) on SEAL training. Why would individual SEALs be proscribed from discussing ANY aspect of their training, while cameras were allowed to record the entire thing?
Sorry, I wasn't completely clear. I didn't mean to imply they aren't allowed to talk about it, they just tend not to. So many of their assignments are Covered by high level clearances, its just easier to not talk about it at all.
I saw the same Discovery Channel feature. You only saw close shots of the faces of the ones that washed out.
I have no internet site, just my father and three brothers who were carreer Navy. One brother was a Seal the other two washed out.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2005, 08:27 AM
Jet Jaguar Jet Jaguar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse
Sorry, I wasn't completely clear. I didn't mean to imply they aren't allowed to talk about it, they just tend not to. So many of their assignments are Covered by high level clearances, its just easier to not talk about it at all.
I saw the same Discovery Channel feature. You only saw close shots of the faces of the ones that washed out.
I have no internet site, just my father and three brothers who were carreer Navy. One brother was a Seal the other two washed out.
If you have a DOD clearance, it's strongly recommended that you minimize talk about a lot of things that would be unclassified, such as even the fact that you have DOD clearance. The idea being you may make yourself a target if the wrong person suspects you might be in a position of national trust.

Besides, I'm sure that documentary crew were working with a security officer making sure they filmed only what they wanted them to see. There are some pretty strict regulations about filming at a military installation.

BTW, it's been my experience working with many military and former military that the less someone has seen, the more they talk.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2005, 08:48 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snailboy
You too? I have a friend that told someone that while he was in the marines, he would go from ship to ship by being shot out of torpedo bays. He is prone to lying, but the girl he told this was gullible too, so he may have just been messing with her.

That's nothing. When I was in Nam (or as we like to say, The Nam), they would fire me out of a modified battleship gun.
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2005, 09:08 AM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerowyn
The vast majority of people who say they are/were Navy SEALS (or Army Rangers, Green Berets, SAS, Spetnatz, etc.) aren't/weren't.
With all due respect, I call b.s. to a degree on this one. While it may be difficult to get exact numbers, there may well be a way to determine how many real live humans have served in the areas you named in the quote above.

It's a bit like the Woodstock Syndrome. Everybody of a certain age was at Woodstock Arts and Music Festival in White Lake, New York in August of 1969. ( For those unawares, Woodstock was over 50 miles from the village of Woodstock, NY ). Uh huh. Quite a few folks who claim attendance were many hundreds of miles out.

OTOH, it is accepted that a very conservative estimate of attendeeds came to about 400,000 people attending the festival.

Having said that, I simply cannot believe that many of the people who claim to be ex Special Services of any kind are not. I have read the article online about people who have started websites that basically prove or disprove claims of service. An admirable pursuit. And furthermore, since General Westmoreland and many others have discussed such military events as Vietnam in exhausting detail, I am hard pressed to believe that nobody ever talks about anything ever. It's not the way the world works. The way the world does work is that if you sign or take an oath of secrecy, it is expected on both moral and legal levels that you will not abandon that oath. That I respect.
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2005, 10:36 AM
August West August West is offline
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I was never a SEAL, I was in the Seabees, but I worked with SEALs in the Navy often enough to learn to tell if someone is lying about having been one. In the 10 years since I got out of the service I have met at least 10 people who have told me they were SEALs that quite obviously were not.
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  #20  
Old 09-02-2005, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerowyn

The vast majority of people who say they are/were Navy SEALS (or Army Rangers, Green Berets, SAS, Spetnatz, etc.) aren't/weren't.

Very true. I have my wings tattoed on my forearm, and used to carry my Ranger coin with me almost all the time. I used to be in the habit of rolling the coin across my knuckles when I was bored.

I eventually stopped because I got sick of being told "oh you should talk to so and so, he was a [SEAL, Ranger, Delta, SF]" only to then talk to the person in question and find out that the closest they ever got to Spec Ops was washing out of jump school or something.

If you want to call someone out - ask them their class number (from BUD/S, Ranger, Q course etc) It's ingrained in all of us. At the very least, they'll look at you like you have two heads - as I guarantee they won't even know the formatting of the number. For example, my class was 6-90, i.e. sixth training class in the calendar year 1990.

But if you know their class number, you can find their picture here.

I would assume there's web resources for BUD/S and such along similar lines.
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  #21  
Old 09-02-2005, 11:22 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picker
But if you know their class number, you can find their picture here.
Nice haircut, picker.
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  #22  
Old 09-02-2005, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself
Nice haircut, picker.
Yea - one thing I don't miss is that good old high 'n tight.

But who's gonna tell a group of 100 guys who've just finished several months of hyper-intensive leadership and combat training without seeing a woman, a beer, a real bunk or a hot meal that their haircuts are stupid?

Rangers Lead The Way!
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2005, 12:06 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze
It just means floating?
A Seal or anyone else in the physical condition required for special ops training doesn't float.

Not even buck naked with thier lungs full to bursting. Certainly not with fatigues, combat boots. And then consider that they try to hang on to some degree of weapons.
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Old 09-02-2005, 12:13 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo
A Seal or anyone else in the physical condition required for special ops training doesn't float.

Not even buck naked with thier lungs full to bursting. Certainly not with fatigues, combat boots. And then consider that they try to hang on to some degree of weapons.
Plus, I would imagine they all have a pretty low body fat ratio, which also reduces buoyancy.
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  #25  
Old 09-02-2005, 12:29 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I met a guy at a wedding who was Air Force Special Forces who talked to me about it for a while, one of those things where both your girlfriends are friends so you end up hanging out. He told me that he was going to do some dive training with some Navy SEALs in a week or so, and among the things they would be doing was experiencing a controlled shallow water blackout under observation as part of drownproofing training. He said the SEALs called this "seeing the wizard."
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  #26  
Old 09-02-2005, 02:44 PM
August West August West is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself
Plus, I would imagine they all have a pretty low body fat ratio, which also reduces buoyancy.
You know, I thought that too, but you would be surprised at the number of SEALs that have a beer gut. Doesn't seem to slow them down though..
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  #27  
Old 09-02-2005, 10:25 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse
Navy Seals typically don't talk about their training or even the fact that they are Seals. To anyone. They are constrained from talking about any aspect by their DOD clearances.

One usually hears this tripe from wannabes.
Bull pucky, I lived with a seal who was *actively* a seal when I was living with him, and he was very open about being a seal. I even have 2 beaches named after me, one in Lebanon, one in Lybia [well, named for my D&D characters=)]

Though I would have loved it if a few of his teammates *had* been drowned, they were serious assholes. Pity the one really nice one died in training just after I left Don=(.
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  #28  
Old 04-02-2012, 03:34 PM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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down proofing

step 1 float
step2 bob
step 3 swim 100 meters
step 4 front and back flip
step 5 grab scuba mask with teeth
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  #29  
Old 04-02-2012, 03:35 PM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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also your hands are tied behind your back and your feet are tied together.
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  #30  
Old 04-02-2012, 03:42 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiosaBellissima View Post
I know the Marines have some pretty nasty water training during boot camp. The last time my ex bf and I were at a hotel in a swimming pool, he decided to show me just what the training was like (of course, he was probably exaggerating to make himself sound more bad ass):



I've heard similar accounts from various other marines, although I'm sure my ex was being overly dramatic.
Crap.

Unless the Marine Corps has radically altered its swim training, then this is nowhere near factual.

Boot camp swim training is....swim training.

After boot camp, swim training is...swim training.

With a few exceptions, Marines aren't expected to actually fight in the water, so training in hand-to-hand water combat as a matter of course would be a waste of time.

Yes, he was exaggerating to make himself sound more bad ass.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 04-02-2012 at 03:43 PM..
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  #31  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:12 PM
isaiahrobinson isaiahrobinson is offline
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Saw a documentary on Navy SEALS which said there was a lot of "drown proof" type stuff during Hell Week. They have their arms tied behind their back and their legs tied together and are told to bounce off the bed of a swimming pool or in the sea, take a gasp of air, then sink and bounce again. I think there was other stuff involving wrestling in water, etc. The point was to push them past the instinctual panic in a "near drowning" type situation and get them to react and function effectively in such a situation.
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  #32  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:19 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
A coworker told me that Navy SEAL trainees are actually drowned, then revived, as part of their training.
I heard that the most elite fighting units are actually the SEALs that fail this test and drown, and are then brought back as zombie SEALs.
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  #33  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:24 PM
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This is a 7 year old thread, just bumped.
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  #34  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerowyn View Post
Drown-proofing does not include drowning the person, although that's a pretty amusing concept. HowStuffWorks has a useful description of what it involves.

The vast majority of people who say they are/were Navy SEALS (or Army Rangers, Green Berets, SAS, Spetnatz, etc.) aren't/weren't.
Army Rangers? There are thousands in the 75th Regiments at any given time, and that's not counting everyone that graduates Ranger school. I think you can take that one off the list. (And yes, I realize this is 7 years old now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by picker View Post
Rangers Lead The Way!
Then why don't they perform the first task of an army: to find, know and never lose the enemy?
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  #35  
Old 04-02-2012, 04:55 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
With a few exceptions, Marines aren't expected to actually fight in the water...
That's not what the Marine's Hymn says:
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;

Last edited by Fear Itself; 04-02-2012 at 04:55 PM..
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  #36  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:15 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
A couple of points. Drowning results in death. If you didn't die, you didn't drown. You may come back from a near drowning, but not a drowning.
Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your SEAL friend was only MOSTLY drowned.
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  #37  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:19 PM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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that drowning shit is a myth
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  #38  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:36 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Originally Posted by jcv151 View Post
down proofing

step 1 float
step2 bob
step 3 swim 100 meters
step 4 front and back flip
step 5 grab scuba mask with teeth
And your source of information is...?
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  #39  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by isaiahrobinson View Post
Saw a documentary on Navy SEALS which said there was a lot of "drown proof" type stuff during Hell Week. They have their arms tied behind their back and their legs tied together and are told to bounce off the bed of a swimming pool or in the sea, take a gasp of air, then sink and bounce again. I think there was other stuff involving wrestling in water, etc. The point was to push them past the instinctual panic in a "near drowning" type situation and get them to react and function effectively in such a situation.
The tough part is that they push off the bottom of the pool, reach the surface, take a breath, then exhale it so they will sink back to the bottom and be able to push off again. If they don't exhale, they will float enough to be helplessly stuck somewhere in the middle of the water and a diver will have to rescue them. Spending 20 seconds under water with no air in your lungs is excruciating to most people.
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  #40  
Old 04-02-2012, 07:33 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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One of the things they do is 50 meter underwater swims where they cannot come up for air. It isn't uncommon for people to black out and have to be pulled out of the water. I am pretty sure that is the goal though. It helps people overcome their fear of drowning, overcome their fear of death and trust their team mates.

There is also water boarding at SERE school.
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  #41  
Old 04-02-2012, 08:40 PM
longhair75 longhair75 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I think the drown-proofing test is where you have to enter the water fully clothed, then remove your shoes (and probably tie them together by their laces and put them about your neck), then remove your trousers and convert them into a flotation device.
This was one of the skills I learned for life saving merit badge when I was a Boy Scout
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  #42  
Old 04-02-2012, 09:27 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
That's not what the Marine's Hymn says:
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
Yeah, but it still says 'IN air, ON land and sea.'

So actually, not fighting in the water...but walking on it.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2012, 11:32 PM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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I was in class 225
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  #44  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:00 AM
cerberus cerberus is offline
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I suspect that the training in terms of swimming and diving for Navy/Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers and Air Force Pararescue Jumpers matches that of SEAL teams, not so much for killing people/breaking things.
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  #45  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:07 AM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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I'm not sure what the rescue swimmers do, but they most likely use free style stokes a whole lot more. In BUD/s you use what is call a combat side stroke, which is just a side stroke that allows you to stay low pro.
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  #46  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:35 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcv151 View Post
I was in class 225
And your Graduation Day was the last day of indoc for class...?
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  #47  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:42 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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The answer to the thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9UfHUxIw-4

Fast forward to 4:45.
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  #48  
Old 04-03-2012, 01:56 AM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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for class 229
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  #49  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:07 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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for class 229
I believe it was 228, but close enough.
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  #50  
Old 04-03-2012, 02:15 AM
jcv151 jcv151 is offline
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I think you are right, now that I look back.
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