HOW TO SAVE SOMEONE WHO IS DROWNING
What’s the best way to impress hot girls in tiny bikinis you ask? Save someone from drowning of course. While we don’t condone heroism at the expense of someone else’s comfort, we do encourage you to help someone in need. If a few women get the hots for you in the process, consider it a win.
People end up drowning because of inexperience, panic, concussions, seizures, heart attacks, or because they were acting like an inebriated fools in the pool. Whatever the case, the ability to save someone’s life is a major skill to have in your arsenal.
However, it isn’t a matter of heroism here. Saving someone from drowning, especially if the victim is active, can be extremely risky for the rescuer. As much as we like to joke around, this is serious stuff right here.
So before you run to save a drowning victim like David Hasselhoff in Baywatch, check out these steps before hand.
ASSESS THE SITUATION
If you’re going into the water and saving someone who doesn’t need saving you’re basically groping them. So make sure the victim actually needs saving and isn’t just having fun in the water.
However, active drowning victims are conscious but are struggling and unable to call for help. They also may be thrashing their arms. It is very important for you to recognize these signs early as people will become submerged in 20 to 60 seconds.
- An active drowning victim will bob in and out of the water with his or her mouth being just above the surface of the water. The person is not making forward progress either.
- Someone who looks as though they’re having trouble, but isn’t yelling for help, may not have enough oxygen to call out.
SHOUT FOR HELP
Call for help. No matter your experience or training, having others assist you is a good idea. Yell to others that someone is drowning; there might be an actual lifeguard on call who is there to do exactly that. Make sure you or someone els is calling a doctor immediately, especially if the person is floating face-down.
DECIDE WHICH RESCUE METHOD TO USE
Assess the area you are in and determine what is the best course of action to take. This might depend on where you are, such as a swimming pool or a natural body of water. Find a flotation device if you can. If the person is close, use a reach method. If the person is further away, use an ocean rescue method.
It may take a few seconds to get the person’s attention.
- Use a ring buoy or other easy to throw rescue device to reach a victim further away from the shore.
- Dive into the water and swim to the victim as a last resort, when the victim is out of reach
PROCEED WITH THE RESCUE
Stay calm and focused. People who panic are more likely to make mistakes and may also stress out the victim. Call to the victim that you’re coming to his or her aid.
PERFORMING A REACHING ASSIST
- Lie face down on the edge of the pool or dock. • Spread your legs to make sure that you are in a stable position. Never extend yourself to the point where you lose your balance. Reach out to the person and yell, “Grab my hand/arm/ paddle!” You may have to yell multiple times before the person hears or sees you. Speak in a voice that is loud, clear and confident.
- This type of rescue is only helpful if the drowning victim is within reach of the side of the pool, pier, or close to the shore.
- Do not attempt to perform a reaching assist while standing. This puts you in a precarious position, and you are more likely to fall into the water.
- Reach out your dominant hand, since you’ll be using your strength to pull the victim to safety. Grab an object you can use to extend your reach if the person is a little too far for your arm to reach. Almost anything that can add a few feet to your reach can help; a boat paddle or a rope are also effective if the person is able to grab them.
- Pull the person safely out of the water and gently help him or her get onto dry ground.
PERFORMING A THROWING ASSIST FIND A FLOATING AID.
- A floating aid with a line attached is ideal because the line can help you pull the victim in. A ring buoy, life jacket, and floating cushions are often found at lifeguard stations at pools and outdoor swimming areas. Boats are also equipped with ring buoys, so use this rescue if the incident occurs while you’re out in the middle of a body of water
THROW THE FLOATING AID.
- Toss the float so that it lands within reach of the victim, but do not strike the victim directly. Take the wind and the current of the water into consideration before you throw. Let the victim know that you are about to throw the aid, and that he or she needs to grab the aid.
- A good goal is to throw the ring just past the victim, then pull it to him or her with the rope. • If you miss the victim or he or she is unable to grab the aid, pull the line back or try throwing another device.
- If repeated attempts are unsuccessful, you may need to try another method or swim to push the device closer to the victim
TRY THROWING A LINE.
An unweighted rope can also be used to rescue a victim. Loosely coil the rope or line in your non-throwing hand by tying a small loop on one end and placing your wrist in the loop. Use an underhand motion to throw the ring, and allow the rope to uncoil freely from your non-throwing hand. Step on the end of the rope so that you do not accidentally throw the ring away.
- Aim for the victim’s shoulder when throwing a line. • Once the victim grabs the line, drop the coil, and begin to slowly pull the line until the victim has reached the side or is able to stand in shallow water.
PERFORMING A SWIMMING RESCUE
Be sure of your swimming abilities. Swim rescues should be used as a last resort. They require training and very good swimming skills. Victims are often thrashing and panicking which can make it hazardous to perform a swimming rescue
DIVE IN WITH AN AID.
Do not attempt a swimming rescue without a buoy on hand; a drowning victim’s first reaction will be to climb on top of you, so you’ll need a flotation device to keep both of you safe and perform the rescue effectively. If you don’t have a buoy, go in with a t-shirt or towel that the victim can grab onto.
SWIM TO THE VICTIM.
- Use the freestyle stroke to quickly get to the drowning person. Toss the buoy or rope for the person to grab. • Instruct the victim to grab the object. Remember not to swim right up to the victim, since he or she is likely to push you under the water.
SWIM BACK TO SHORE.
- Move in a straight line back to shore, towing the person behind you. Check back every few paces to make sure he or she is still holding the buoy or rope. Continue swimming until you make it safely back to shore, then exit the water. • Keep a safe distance between you and the victim.
CARING FOR THE VICTIM AFTER THE RESCUE
ASSESS THE PERSON’S ABCS - AIRWAY, BREATHING AND CIRCULATION.
Make sure someone has called emergency services and check the ABCs. Determine if the person is breathing in and out, and if anything is obstructing his or her airway. If the person is not breathing, feel for a pulse on the wrist or the side of the neck. The pulse should be checked for 10 seconds
START CPR. (For more info on this, check out Vol 3 Issue 7 of TNM Magazine) If the person has no pulse, begin performing CPR. For adults and children, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest or place one hand on top of the other. Perform 30 chest compressions at the rate of 100 per minute. Press down about 2 inches. Allow the chest to rise completely between pushes. Check to see if the person has started breathing.