I'm researching it for a computer game mechanics change (the game is free and open source, I'm not doing it for profit). The question is: at what height it is theoretically possible for an average and reasonably healthy human to sustain any injury on impact with water provided that water has unlimited depth and nothing in it and ignoring any injuries that happen after the fall is stopped by the water?

I've found ICD-10 code that might help discover some statistics:

W16.112A: Fall into natural body of water striking water surface causing other injury

but I still have to find any dataset where height was recorded.

Maybe there is a safety standard that have an answer?

  • 3
    I read some time ago that the US Coast Guard limits its rescue swimmers to 27 m (90 ft) drops, but they are superbly conditioned, well-trained athletes who know how to enter the water properly. How you hit the water matters a lot. However, I can't find a reference to that standard so I can't make it an answer. And it's worth noting that pro divers routinely do much higher than that, but that's not an answer either. – Carey Gregory Apr 26 '20 at 23:08
  • Computer game characters being well-trained athletes on average I'd go with that. Too much realism in a computer game may not be a good thing either. – Thomas Apr 27 '20 at 0:53
  • Thank you! The game in question is Cataclysm DDA and it has swimming skill, although most players don't have it leveled at the start. The 27m limit is definitely useful for setting lowest damaging height for skilled characters that are in control of their body. I've also found OSHA requirement for protection even at 1.8m above water but that is just blanket coverage of falling protection regulation with any surface so I don't think it's useful in this context. – int_ua Apr 27 '20 at 9:38

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