• Question: What would be the best way to get out of quick-sand if your alone?

    Asked by curlywurly to Adam, Faye, Martin, Samantha on 23 May 2012.
    • Photo: Adam Bibbey

      Adam Bibbey answered on 23 May 2012:

      Hi curlywurly,

      Quick sand can be very dangerous so ideally you want to avoid all areas that indicate quicksand is present.

      If you do ever get stuck though the first thing you should do is RELAX 🙂 This will stop you sinking further.

      You then want to get on your back; this will make your surface area larger so it will be harder to sink. You could then move slowly towards harder ground where you would then be able to stand up.

      Hope this helps, any more questions then please ask 🙂

    • Photo: Faye Didymus

      Faye Didymus answered on 26 May 2012:

      Hi curlywurly! Avoid quick sand at all costs if possible because it is really dangerous! Here are a few steps if someone were to get stuck in quicksand alone:

      1) If you’re carrying anything or heavy clothing items on, drop them immediately – because your body is less dense than quicksand, you can’t fully sink unless you panic and struggle too much (which will cause the sand to further liquefy) or you’re weighed down by something heavy.

      2) Relax – quicksand usually isn’t more than a couple feet deep, but if you do happen to come across a particularly deep spot, you could very well sink quite quickly down to your waist or chest. If you panic you can sink further, but if you relax, your body’s buoyancy will cause you to float.

      3) Breathe deeply – not only will deep breathing help you remain calm, it will also make you more buoyant. Keep as much air in your lungs as possible. It is impossible to “go under” if your lungs are full of air!

      4) get on your back – if you sink up to your hips or higher, bend backward. The more you spread out your weight, the harder it will be to sink. Float on your back while you slowly and carefully extricate your legs. Once your legs are free you can inch yourself to safety by using your arms to slowly and smoothly propel yourself. If you are near the edge of the quicksand, you can roll to hard ground.

      5) Take your time – if you’re stuck in quicksand, frantic movements will only hurt your cause. Whatever you do, do it slowly. Slow movements will prevent you from agitating the quicksand; vibrations caused by rapid movements can turn otherwise relatively firm ground into more quicksand.

      6) Take frequent breaks – since it can take a long time to get yourself out of quicksand, be sure to take breaks and just float on your back if you feel your muscles getting tired. If you’re in a dangerous tidal zone, however, you may be in a race against time so you do need to try and avoid getting in this type of situation alltogether!

      Stay safe and I hope that helps! 🙂