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Drowning doesn't look like drowning

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  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.

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I've seen a guy drown and die before first hand and he basically just went limp once he breathed in a significant quantity of water. It happened shockingly quickly. By the time we were able to get him back on the beach he was dead. An ambulance was on scene within minutes, they were unable to revive the poor fellow in it or after arriving at the hospital. Something I'm not likely to forget seeing.

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  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help.
2.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.

 

 

 

View PostI've seen a guy drown and die before first hand and he basically just went limp once he breathed in a significant quantity of water. It happened shockingly quickly. By the time we were able to get him back on the beach he was dead. An ambulance was on scene within minutes, they were unable to revive the poor fellow in it or after arriving at the hospital. Something I'm not likely to forget seeing.

 

 

cwm15.gif I am. cwm15.gif

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when i was a young kid about 11 or 12 i was swimming far out in the ocean, way too far than i should have been. I started getting knocked by waves and swallowed a good amount of water, but i was laughing the whole time. I was struggling to stay a float but i couldnt stop laughing? I kept trying to swim in and finally a life guard came and dragged me in, but it was a very scary experience even though my first instinct was laughing....

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I almost drowned in 2nd or 3rd grade and if that wasn't my uncle that saw me I would have been history. Pretty much everything mentioned in OP's post is true; I don't think I'll ever forget how it felt like cwm31.gif

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I always thought that when you get fat you are supposed to be able to float. When I was a young stud and all muscle (ha-ha) I had a good excuse for sinking like a stinkin rock. Now that my body has been remodeled by 60 years of abuse and I carry a 10:00-22 over my belt, I still can just barely float. If I am in super salty water, i.e., the Carribean, I am slightly more bouyant.

 

My father's attempts to teach me to swim, the old throw in him beyond the breakers, didn't work so well ---- so I am aware of my deficienies in thw water and generally use proper caution.

 

I had a buddy in high school who would remain suspended below the surface despite wearing a ski vest. Never forget him falling off the skis and disappearing below the surface. Fortuantely it was in a crystal clear lake and he was easy to spot. Not easy to get back to the surface -- but we did.

 

Knowing that my best attempts to keep myself on top of the water are effective for about 3-4 minutes gives me good respect for it. Maybe I can learn to swim when I retire!!!

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This is a good tread and wellworth keeping it going. I have participated in rescueing people who were drowning and never realized how close to dying they were until I read this. Sure ,I passed the Red Cross lifeguard course in high-school, and respect those that got to use what we were taught, but forgot much. Anyway keep this going until everyone on this website has read it.

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I was a life guard for a number of years and I taught lifeguarding at UMass Amherst for 4 years. No matter how prepared you may be, it is not always obvious that someone is in trouble (they may not know themselves) and once they know and you know, there is precious little time to react. However, as a rescuer, you must be diligent and not put yourself in harms way. Double drownings are too common!

 

Rule 1 - First try to save someone without getting wet.

Rule 2 - If you go into the water take something that floats and keep it between you and the victim.

Rule 3 - If you don't have flotation, turn your body so you make the final approach feet-first and ready to kick away.

Rule 4 - If the victim grabs you, swim down - downing victims will not follow you down under water.

Rule 5 - Conserve your energy - as cruel as it sounds, it is easier to save someone after they go unconscious - wait if you have to.

 

The problem with rules is they almost never fit the circumstances. So, think before you act and be honest about your own physical readiness to help before you jump in the water.

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View PostThe problem with rules is they almost never fit the circumstances. So, think before you act and be honest about your own physical readiness to help before you jump in the water.

 

 

This is right on...

 

The original post may apply in many situations where a person is drowning because they are not a good swimmer, but in no way should it be construed as indicative of all drowning situations. Cases of shallow water blackout are just one example of a very different physiological response to oxygen depravation. One should not believe that all drowning people involuntarily act the same,,,, that is simply untrue. smile.gif

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I'd say most of what you said is true. However, when you say "drowning doesnt look like drowning" you're only referring to the final stages of drowning. Depending on the swimming ability of the victim, most people can and will let you know they are drowning atleast a little while before they get to these natural drowning reactions. The only times I had to save someone who didn't noticably show some kind of distress were when I got to them before they even realized they were in trouble.

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We saved a couple of immigrant guys a few years back after the lifeguards had come off duty. They were clawing at each other like cats and yelling (at first) getting sucked out in a rip. One guy was just underwater when we got to him...threw him up on a long board and he was foaming at the mouth and vomiting. I can attest that they were not waving though, just looked like they were trying to tread water and staring straight up at the sky, but sinking like a couple of stones.

 

The Perfect Storm has some of the best explanations of drowning I have read.

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I had the very same experience, saved one of my friends from drowning, and he was doing that...

 

DBS

 

View Post.... I can attest that they were not waving though, just looked like they were trying to tread water and staring straight up at the sky, but sinking like a couple of stones...

 

 

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