Water has presented problems to humankind since the beginning of time. Attempting to overcome vast waterways or simply going for an afternoon swim has caused severe injury and horrible deaths to people for thousands of years. With lifeguards and floatation devices of all sorts nowadays, the chances of drowning are slimmer than they were before these things came along, but even today many people are still the victims of drowning.
Sometimes it’s caused when the person is accidentally knocked into the water and doesn’t know how to swim. Other times, the person gets too confident, swims out too far, they can’t make it back. Falling off of boats or floats causes even more deaths to the tally. Ordinary swimmers have been known to save the life of a drowning victim, simply because they were at the right place at the right time and had the presence of mind to think quickly in the situation.
The problem with physically trying to help someone who is drowning, by jumping in the water and trying to save them, is that they unknowingly will fight you, trying to get out of the water. They will grab, claw, cling to, and climb atop of you, trying to save themselves, and pushing you under in the meanwhile.
Spotting a drowning victim is hard sometimes, especially when there is a lot of playing and roughhousing going on with many people in the water. A person who is drowning is often struck mute and unable to call out for help. Itâ€™s important to move quickly when a person is drowning since the average person can drown in under a minute.
There are certain things to take into consideration, quickly, when a person is drowning. If it’s a pool or an area with a lifeguard, call immediately for the lifeguard to assist the drowning person. If no lifeguard is nearby but the person is close to the edge of a pool, toss afloat with rope out for the person to grab or extend a pole.
Whenever possible, use a device to help pull the person in, rather than risking your own life to jump in and save the victim. And never stand on the side of a pool and bend over to reach for the drowning person; chances are they’ll pull you in too. At a pool, lay down on stomach with legs outstretched and apart, and then reach for the victim’s wrist, having someone hold your legs when possible.
Holler loudly at the person to grab your wrist, and then attempt to grab the person by the inside of the wrist while they grab the inside of yours. At a lake or outdoor water spot, use a stick whenever possible to pull the person towards you, or throw a rope very near to the victim.
Avoid the risk of drowning by swimming only with others where there is a lifeguard on duty, knowing your limitations, wearing a life vest, and providing children with one when swimming, fishing, and boating.