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Swimming is a universally enjoyed sport by a lot of people. I have always learned growing up that everybody should at least know how to swim or simply know how to float in the water. Although we all may not be professional olympic swimmers who dedicate their life to swimming by practicing for hours on end everyday, it is important to know how NOT to drown. According to the fact sheet written by the World Health Organization, “drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury related deaths” (2017). Natural disasters or saving a drowning child when no one else is there, anything can happen. It is always best to be prepared.
Below is an article from swimmersdaily.com written by Miles Wiseman in 2014 who does an awesome job explaining a simple step by step guide on how to save someone who is or might be drowning-
Drowning can happen any time and surprisingly even in shallow water. Knowing what you are required to do to rescue a drowning person safely helps save lives. A simple process to carry out when rescuing a drowning person is, reach, throw, row and go, in that order. However, the first thing you should always do immediately you see someone drowning is call for help.
1. DIALL 911
- Call the rescue emergency number to report the incident as soon as possible. An adult can struggle in water for about three minutes but a child can only last less than thirty seconds. Therefore, action should be taken very fast to rescue a drowning person. You can also scream to attract the attraction of people who can join to assist in rescuing the victim.
- This is quite risky and a lot of care should be taken. You should ensure that you are in a safe position and cannot be pulled in by the victim; lying flat on the floor and stretch your hand towards the victim.
- If you cannot reach the victim, use a tree branch or a towel and taking care not to hit him or her, throw it towards him and after he grasps it, you can pool it to a safe position.
- Another way to reach the victim is to get into the water and with one hand holding the edge of the pool or grass, stretch the other hand towards the victim and after he grasps you can slowly pull him towards safety.
- Most of the swimming areas have safety rings that are attached to a long rope. They usually float and they can be used to save a drowning victim. Throw the ring towards the victim and ask him/her to grab it then pull it towards the shore.
- This applies where the victim is too far and can neither use reach or throw methods. Take a boat and go close to the victim taking care not to hit him. You can throw a safety ring to the victim to help him stabilize before you get there. Ask the victim to hold on to the boat when you get there or you can apply reach to help him get to safety.
- Swimming to rescue someone drowning should be the last resort, it require swimming skills and a lot of training before doing it. This is because a drowning person is violent and may pose danger to the rescuer. They may try to climb on the rescuer to be able to breathe, which may cause him to drown too. However, if you have to swim out to rescue a drowning person, carry a towel with you or any object that the victim can hold on to as you tow him to safety ensuring that you are at a safe distance from him.
I know that not everyone has resources to take up swimming lessons, and some may have health issues that can prevent them from swimming. However, for those of us that are fortunate enough to learn how, definitely take your time and practice while you have the opportunity to.
To read the full article, go to: https://www.swimmersdaily.com/2014/02/12/simple-step-by-step-guide-on-how-to-save-someone-who-is-drowning/