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bobx1
05-09-2012, 12:22 PM
Saw and read this posted on another forum, and knowing many members here have children and may boat with adults who may not be able to swim I thought it was worth repeating posting here also. Let's all be safe this summer!

****************
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.

2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006)

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

* Head low in the water, mouth at water level
* Head tilted back with mouth open
* Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
* Eyes closed
* Hair over forehead or eyes
* Not using legs – Vertical
* Hyperventilating or gasping
* Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
* Trying to roll over on the back
* Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Source: http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/

mzimme
05-09-2012, 12:34 PM
Good info... definitely taught me a few things.

SilviaMan
05-09-2012, 12:43 PM
wow, good read.

starman205
05-09-2012, 12:43 PM
I agree, good information to know!

Double D
05-09-2012, 12:43 PM
Me too! Thanks!

scharette
05-09-2012, 12:48 PM
Thank you for posting!

thatsmrmastercraft
05-09-2012, 12:51 PM
Great information. I have already sent that to a bunch of people.

wrobins1
05-09-2012, 01:36 PM
GREAT read!

Found a video through original link.
http://mariovittone.com/2011/07/video-of-instinctive-drowning-response/

DooSPX
05-09-2012, 01:45 PM
taught me some things too! Thank you for posting! This is a VERY good post!

JMann
05-09-2012, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the post. With 2 young kids I really take this to heart.

mwg
05-09-2012, 01:58 PM
Awesome post.. Thanks!

beef
05-09-2012, 02:28 PM
Experienced this firsthand last year. My 17 year-old son and I were swimming near our boat when we heard a girl saying someone needed help near shore. Looked over and saw a boy exactly as described - head back and alternately going under and reappearing. He looked like he might have just been playing, and wasn't calling out or really moving at all.

Luckily his friend notice he was in trouble, but she didn't seem to have the swimming ability to hold him up. I swam over and grabbed both of them, and my son (the smart one) grabbed a couple of life jackets from the boat and swam them over.

The scariest part is that they were over 100' from us, but only 15-20' from shore, where there were a bunch of adults just watching without really realizing what was going on.

DooSPX
05-09-2012, 02:30 PM
WOW! Thanks for sharing beef. I will have a new eye out while on the water next. I love the water, but drowning terrifies me, as well as burning...

pmkkdx
05-09-2012, 03:07 PM
great information to keep in the back of our minds with us all being out on the water so much. Never know when it might come in handy!

David4MCSammyDuvall
05-09-2012, 03:46 PM
Wow ! Very important information for all boaters and swimmers ! Please share with others !

chevy08bud
05-09-2012, 03:59 PM
Very Worthwhile Post!
The things that we would normally take foregranted really hit home when you have kids.
Thanks

BrianT
05-09-2012, 04:14 PM
Thanks for posting, very good points to watch for.

PLR
05-09-2012, 04:25 PM
Great post. I am going send it to a few friends. I might also put it on a couple other forums that I frequent on.

Whisky
05-09-2012, 04:34 PM
Thank you for the informative post.

Whisky
05-09-2012, 04:42 PM
Thank you for the informative post.

sleeporbutter
05-09-2012, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the great info...

jbkriss
05-09-2012, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the info. I learned a lot.

mwg
05-09-2012, 04:47 PM
As I stated earlier this is an awesome post.

After reading the link I immediately copied it and emailed it to several of my friends (mainly those who have younger children or involved in water sports). I just received an email from a close friend who stated that his wife was with their 6 year old at a children's swim party when she noticed him "bobbing up and down and not playing," she didn't know exactly what was going on but she dove in (fully dressed) to rescue him... another parent jumped in to help.. once she got to him she pulled him to safety.. he was drowning right in front and didn't realize it.

We have owned a pool for years. I was a lifeguard and swam competitively many years ago in high school. My wife and I made sure our children could swim at an early age. Now that we have our 2 year old grandson living with us I am having to rethink our our pool safety procedures and I'm looking into a safety fence to enclose the pool.

Thanks again for the post and please pass the link on to others...

CottagerGreg
05-09-2012, 05:07 PM
thanks for the share... I forwarded it to a few people I know

gotta_ski
05-09-2012, 05:45 PM
Should this be something we sticky? Everyone should read this, but it could really help new boat owners that might not have as much experience around the water.

jakethebt
05-09-2012, 08:14 PM
Second for a sticky...

Awesome post. I am glad I read it. I too copied and pasted for redistribution.

jgraham37128
05-09-2012, 08:58 PM
I'd never read or heard that these are the signs to look for. I've been on the water all my life and would have expected to see someone struggling before they drown. Thanks for the info.

sp00ky
05-09-2012, 09:02 PM
Saw and read this posted on another forum, and knowing many members here have children and may boat with adults who may not be able to swim I thought it was worth repeating posting here also. Let's all be safe this summer!

****************
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owneLrs. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.

2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006)

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

* Head low in the water, mouth at water level
* Head tilted back with mouth open
* Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
* Eyes closed
* Hair over forehead or eyes
* Not using legs – Vertical
* Hyperventilating or gasping
* Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
* Trying to roll over on the back
* Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Source: http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/

This is a superbly stated article. I was a lifeguard at a waterpark for 7 years back in the late 80s-90s. Back then the waves in the wave pool were huge and they came up to the side of the pool. I personally averaged 2x in the water saves per week. We also performed 2 man CPR on a 12 year old black kid who had a seizure in the lazy river. Meaning not breathing no pulse when we pulled him out.

The movies get things wrong all the time. If your in trouble how could you have the breath/strength to cry out or visibly thrash. All my saves were watching them try to keep their nose above water but generally very hard to see especially with a weekend crowded wave pool.

mikeg205
05-10-2012, 08:49 AM
Great post... should be something added to the boating checklist...when we are on the water we are responsible for keeping the waters safe... Reminder to look at swimmers differently when zipping by doing water sports. On the rivers in Illinois, I see many single swimmers without pfd's swimming behind their yachts.

Thanks...great reminder!!!!

sp00ky
05-10-2012, 09:12 AM
Great post... should be something added to the boating checklist...when we are on the water we are responsible for keeping the waters safe... Reminder to look at swimmers differently when zipping by doing water sports. On the rivers in Illinois, I see many single swimmers without pfd's swimming behind their yachts.

Thanks...great reminder!!!!

Everyone please remember the last thing you want to do is go in after someone who is drowning they are usually panicked and you will quickly become a drowning victim as well. Throw flotation or get your boat over there to pull them out.

If your NOT TRAINED don't attempt an in the water save please.

LittleFuss
05-10-2012, 09:17 AM
goog post

mzimme
05-10-2012, 09:40 AM
Everyone please remember the last thing you want to do is go in after someone who is drowning they are usually panicked and you will quickly become a drowning victim as well. Throw flotation or get your boat over there to pull them out.

If your NOT TRAINED don't attempt an in the water save please.

I understand the point, but I'll be the first person to put my life in danger to go help someone that WILL die without help of others. There's no way I'll sit back and watch just because I'm "not trained". I'll yell at others to get me a PFD there ASAP, but I'm at least going to give the person an extra 30 seconds of hope if that's what it takes.

My humble opinion, of course.

sp00ky
05-10-2012, 10:06 AM
I understand the point, but I'll be the first person to put my life in danger to go help someone that WILL die without help of others. There's no way I'll sit back and watch just because I'm "not trained". I'll yell at others to get me a PFD there ASAP, but I'm at least going to give the person an extra 30 seconds of hope if that's what it takes.

My humble opinion, of course.

I'm not saying don't help but getting face to face in the water with a drowning victim is a last resort. Yes do everything you can but every year we hear about someone who has drowned on Lanier while trying to save someone else. THEY BOTH DROWNED.

The drowning victim is in a primal state and will claw their way on top of you and bring both of you under. You get one breath of water in your lungs and your both done.

Do everything in your power to save them but be smart about it.

Montemx
05-10-2012, 10:47 AM
Great read! Thanks for posting this information. Also agree that it is very dangerous to jump in next to someone and expect to lift them out of the water and save them. I have heard stories of people having to slap the drowning victim hard to get the to calm down or snap out of it from lifeguards in Florida. If it were me I would do all I could with a floating device first, then jump in as a last resort to save the victim.

FrankSchwab
05-10-2012, 12:52 PM
I understand it the same way as Spooky.

They're panicking. You're the highest thing around - they're going to ferociously try to climb on top of you to get out of the water. The same strength that you hear about in tabloid stories ("Mother lifts burning car to save child!") will be used against you as the drowning person tries to save themselves.

If you're going to go full-bore, damn the torpedoes to save a drowning person, you owe it to yourself and your family to go take some lifesaving courses to give yourself a chance in that situation.

JMHO.

/frank

sp00ky
05-10-2012, 01:35 PM
Great read! Thanks for posting this information. Also agree that it is very dangerous to jump in next to someone and expect to lift them out of the water and save them. I have heard stories of people having to slap the drowning victim hard to get the to calm down or snap out of it from lifeguards in Florida. If it were me I would do all I could with a floating device first, then jump in as a last resort to save the victim.

Exactly I was a lifeguard and lifguard supervisor at a water park I averaged 2 saves a week for 7 years. I have been clawed, bitten punched countless times and we drilled endlessly so that we keep ourselves safe and we never went in without a rescue tube/buoy. I have muscle memory and a strong swimming background I would jump in save the person and not once would I have thought about it. HOWEVER, only because of my training and constant drilling

If you have to go in take proper flotation (and your neoprene thats not buckled is not proper). Put a PFD on yourself jump in with a THROW CUSHION and shove the throw cushion at them.

Don't be a hero and know YOUR LIMITS.

95% of he population CANNOT HANDLE A Drowning victim in the water. you will most likely hasten the victim's drowning and drown yoursef

Most of the time I am spouting my humble opinion on this forum. THIS IS NOT one of those times its a fact.

sp00ky
05-10-2012, 01:36 PM
I understand it the same way as Spooky.

They're panicking. You're the highest thing around - they're going to ferociously try to climb on top of you to get out of the water. The same strength that you hear about in tabloid stories ("Mother lifts burning car to save child!") will be used against you as the drowning person tries to save themselves.

If you're going to go full-bore, damn the torpedoes to save a drowning person, you owe it to yourself and your family to go take some lifesaving courses to give yourself a chance in that situation.

JMHO.

/frank

remember a drowning victim is no longer a rational human being but a wild trapped animal.

rjracin240
05-11-2012, 12:53 PM
[QUOTE=bobx1;837557]Saw and read this posted on another forum, and knowing many members here have children and may boat with adults who may not be able to swim I thought it was worth repeating posting here also. Let's all be safe this summer!

****************
As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

Thanks for your service and putting your life at risk to save others.

"You have to go out but you dont have to come back"
Semper Peratus

milkmania
05-15-2012, 06:22 PM
Delayed Drowning: Man Dies Hours After Pulling Himself from Water


A 60-year-old man fell into New York’s Long Island Sound, pulled himself out — and then died several hours later, apparently of drowning. Emergency doctors today called it a case of secondary drowning, something very unusual.
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/05/15/delayed-drowning-man-dies-hours-after-pulling-himself-from-water/

Jorski
05-16-2012, 11:27 AM
Several years ago, I pulled a nearly drowned drunk out of the water after he swamped his boat. We barely spotted him while skiing at dusk.

The toughest part of the rescue was keeping my untrained buddy in the boat while I got the victim to grab onto an oar.

This guy had been in the water (cold water) a while, and he was nearly gone. No question, if my friend had jumped in the water to do the "baywatch rescue" they both would have been dead.

kgrove
05-17-2012, 12:53 AM
As for the "jumping in to save them" discussion... You are probably FAR better off - both for the drowning persons safety and your own as the would-be rescuer - spending an extra 10, 20, 30 seconds figuring out how or where to get flotation to bring with you before jumping in after a drowning person even if it means that persons goes under first. The success rate resuscitating somebody who went under is ok - much better than your chances of manhandling a drowning person without any kind of flotation. And much better than the chances of somebody else saving both of you.

Good question for those of you with the training or experience: one of the likely situations for many of us here doing skiing or wakeboarding is how to handle an unconscious rider (e.g., hits their head in a crash). They obviously should be wearing a life vest - may be floating face up or face down. What's the best way to grab them without risking the rescuer? What's the chance they could regain semi-consciousness if you jumped in to grab them, then panic and create the doomsday scenario we're saying to avoid here in jumping in after drowning victims?