Thanks to Dave Smith, Ph.D., Commander, USCG (RET) for providing the following anti-drowning tips. Dr. Smith is an aquatic safety consultant. You can find him on the web at http://www.aquaticsafety.com ...Capt. Matt
Here are a few basic anti-drowning tips:
- Most people who die in aquatic accidents - boating/swimming - succumb to drowning. Most drownings result from three major factors -inability to swim, effects of relatively cold water, and alcohol.
- Most drownings occur 10 feet or less from safety, and roughly 60 percent of the time another person is both witnessing and in a position to rescue the victim. Unfortunately, would-be rescuers are not aware of the classic signs of drowning.
- These signs are:
- Head back.
- Mouth open, establishing an airway - but not vocalizing.
- Arms doing an involuntary, above the water, breast stroke.
- Head bobbing up and down, above then below the surface.
Drowning occurs rapidly and soundlessly, averaging 20 seconds in small children and up to a minute in adults. To the uninitiated a drowning person’s surface struggle may appear to be playing, clowning or splashing accompanied by lack of requests for help. Simply observing and reacting to the signs of drowning by basic, shore-based reaching or throwing rescues may cancel a needless tragedy.