Drowning: What’s before that

It’s summer and it’s swimming time! Time to cool off the heat and have some fun under the sun. Unfortunately, there are risks we have to take when we do such activities, and that includes drowning.

We’ve all been conditioned to believe that a drowning person will flail about, scream out, and otherwise draw attention to themselves so they can be helped. On the surface that would seem to make sense, if we were stuck out in a lake or struggling in the deep end of a big pool we’d certainly make a scene to get some help. Except drowning doesn’t look like the dramatized version you see in movies. Drowning in real life is so undramatic that 10% of accidental drownings happen within 25 yards or less of people who could has helped.

Quoted from Jason Fitzpatrick from Lifehacker.com

So how do you know if someone is actually at that point where he struggles in a life or death situation? Here are a few things you should keep in mind.

  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: page 14 of THIS document

I agree with that. I almost drowned. I tried to call for help, but I can’t. I tried to make a scene so that they could notice, but they don’t seem to see that I’m drowning. *gasp* exactly. So I hope this will help you to know if someone is actually drowning. Remember, thing you see in the movies aren’t always what happens in real life. They are just often exaggerated one of the real ones. You know, for dramatic effect?

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