I just finished reading an article entitled “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning,” by Mario Vittone, and feel that it was filled with a lot of relevant and potentially life-saving information. The general gist of the article is that drowning victims often do not look like they are drowning, and therefore nobody jumps in to rescue them until it is too late. A couple of noteworthy quotes from the article:
- 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.
- To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 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. According to the CDC, in 10 percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening.
- Drowning people cannot wave for help.
- This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress.
- Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.