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28 June 2010 @ 02:53 pm
Drowning not like it looks in movies  
Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

Chalk this up to another thing that is portrayed so badly in movies and on TV that we might not recognize the real thing when we see it! If you have children or care for them, this is a must read.


Drowning? Not likely.

The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. 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.
W. Lotus: Peacefulwlotus on June 28th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this link. I'll be sure to share it.
(Anonymous) on June 28th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
I thought Kurt Russell did a passable job of portraying a drowning victim in the movie Poseidon. Notable for its absence of thrashing, etc.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on June 29th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
the entire time i was in college, i took a swimming course. one each semester. at one point i'd been there so much so often that the teacher decided to certify a bunch of us in first aid and asked me to come along. for free. she actually taught us "how to drown" - what real drowning looks like. you pretty much just stop and sink.