Author Topic: Do you know what drowning looks like?  (Read 14498 times)

endurance

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Do you know what drowning looks like?
« on: June 20, 2012, 04:46:51 PM »
I found an interesting article that busts the myths we rely on based on watching too much TV.

http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/

Quote
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.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect.

Something to think about this summer when you're around the water!

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 05:49:12 PM »
+1 endurance...

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 07:48:28 PM »
+1 endurance...
What LvsChant said.  Been around water my entire life, never seen it.  But there's always a first time.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 08:06:59 PM »
Excellent info -- I knew nothing about this.  Thank you.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 09:52:45 PM »
Thank you endurance.  I sent it to several folks I know.  Hopefully it'll help save a life somewhere, someday.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 11:03:17 PM »
Great post, thank you.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 02:03:37 AM »
timely - we were at the beach yesterday playing in the lake.  we'll be back again lots this year.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 06:40:57 AM »
+1 for a great reminder.

Offline lawdawg

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 09:13:04 AM »
AWESOME info....thanks

Offline daveinmichigan

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 09:59:18 AM »
Thank you for the information, I hope it saves a life and you get the honor of learn about it.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 10:14:49 AM »
Thanks for the info, I volunteer with the local fire dept and we have a large lake in the area. I have not been taught this, and I just finished EMT-Basic school.

endurance

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 11:35:29 AM »
Thanks for the info, I volunteer with the local fire dept and we have a large lake in the area. I have not been taught this, and I just finished EMT-Basic school.
I've been through EMT-B, Basic first aid (twice), advanced first aid, and first responder and not one mention either.  Ironically, my AFA instructor was a lifeguard as his day job.

I remember Gonzoles mentioning something about drowning folks not looking like drowning folks in Deep Survival, but it didn't stick and I don't remember what detail he went into in the book.  This was certainly an eye opener for me, too.

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 12:00:40 PM »
It is quiet, and you will never forget it. I was way too close to a boy drowning while I was actually working rescue. We had seem him just seconds before his mom started screaming. There were 4 trained rescuers in the water within 30 seconds of his being noticed. He never came back, not even for a second. It was one of the worst things I have ever dealt with. We all felt somehow guilty even though we were training and had nothing to do with the swimmers, just that we were that close, and wasn't able to save him. They don't tell you about that kind of stuff when you are training, you always here about the wins. To all of you who have been through EMT-B or P, get out to a local rescue squad and do some ride time. The real scene training will make you truly understand the limitations and abilities of medical responders, far more that the class will.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 01:06:36 PM »
I ran across this article about a week ago, after a friend drowned 3 weeks ago.  It helped me cope by understanding better what happened to her.  She rolled her car upside down in the river, with just the wheels and bottom of car exposed.  She managed to get her seatbelt off, push the door open, but not make it the 3 feet to the surface.  I just couldn't understand how she could get that far and not make that last little bit, but this article helped me understand that and put it to rest in my mind a bit and help cope with the loss by understanding it better. 

Glad you posted it, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to do much of anything the last couple weeks. 

Thanks

Doc

Offline Muddyboots

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2012, 06:29:00 PM »
Doc, I'm SOOOooooo sorry!

When I was a young pup EMT doing VFD-R I had the misfortune of seeing a half dozen drownings as we found them and took them out of the water, all in my first summer on the rig. S&T inKY, I grock.

The younger the victim, The colder the water, The better the chance. Also you need to know there is a point where you might want to pray that they DON'T revive. Seen that go bad too...

Actually, it was this kind of thing that made me hang it (VFD-R) up.

Muddyboots

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2012, 05:53:32 AM »
Thanks Muddy, It was a rough time, but as they say time heals all wounds and the pain is slowly fading.   Not a day goes by that we don't think of her, but the thoughts are turning more to happy memories and the things we can do for her son, than the tragedy.  The human mind can be a powerful tool of self repair, scrubbing the bad and remembering the good if you let it do it's job.  (Hard for a soul searcher like me).

I have been contemplating joining the local VFD for many years now, but I always seemed too busy, and right now I don't have the time or resources.  Once I have things under control, I might give it a shot.  I did contact the state chapter of our emergency response group (Turns out we don't have anything local), so they just generally work with the VFD here.  I'd be more interested in SR or ER than FD because of the wider scope.

I did do a 4 week stint as a lifeguard while I was at Ft Lewis and I remember the orientation class they did covering drowning, but that was more than 20 years ago and I was lucky to never have witnessed anyone in distress.   I was a young dumb 20 year old more interested in the bikini clad swimmers than anything else though.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2012, 06:32:46 AM »
Very good article.  100% accurate.  When my sons were little both of them came so close to drowning.  Neither one made a sound!  Still makes me cringe.  Neither of them were afraid of the water and it never took long and in they would go if your back was turned for 1/2 a second.  My oldest jumped into a hot tub when he was 3 it was way over his head.  All I had done was let go of his hand to take the bag off my shoulder and set it down.  I never even heard him go into the water. Looked around and could only see his the top of his head going down.  There was a man sitting on the edge he was upset I jumped in with my clothes on splashing him in the process.  He didn't have a clue.   I grabbed him up and wen we got him to the side he was smiling  between coughing gags look mom I was swimming.  Yeah like a rock. 

My youngest son decided to run into a lake after a duck he was about 2.  Got him by the shirt tail on his second way down.  Just let go of his hand to blow my nose.  Another time he jumped off a boat when they were in the middle of the Columbia river!  He wanted to go swimming.  I was not there at that time.  Hubby grabbed a large hook and scooped him up.  If we had not insisted on a life jacket we would have lost him that fast.  Both boys had swimming lessons when they were little but that did not make them good swimmers.  Who ever said silence is golden never had kids! When it comes to kids Silence = Danger  @ least mine.

I swear after that I made sure the boys had life jackets on even around mud puddles.  When we were out and about yes I was one of those crazy people that had their kids on a leash.  When in the yard my youngest was tethered.   I know crazy.  But that kid could escape in seconds.  Scale a 6' fence grab his big wheel and end up in a 4 way intersection stopping traffic 3 blocks over.  By the time they were 2 they could both take doors off the hinge and pick locks.  This is why I feel so old.  Those boys wore me out!

When close to water KEEP LIFE JACKETS ON LITTLE ONES AT ALL TIMES no matter the time of year!
 

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2012, 06:56:15 AM »
  Who ever said silence is golden never had kids! When it comes to kids Silence = Danger @ least mine.

truer words not spoken. 

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2012, 01:13:11 PM »
I had the girls wear their life jackets when we went went to the beach. I got a lot of funny looks from parents who had their little ones out there without one. But not 15 minutes after we were back on our hotel balcony,  we watched an off-duty cop drag a 15yo out of the water and do CPR. Fortunately she started breathing again before the ambulance showed up. The water was fairly calm, but if you get rolled and hit your head, you aren't going to float without a jacket. She was very lucky that the cop saw her go down and not come back up.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2014, 12:31:07 AM »
Just found this thread, read and linked the article a second time (to help with retention).

I realized I hadn't given Endurance +1.  I have now.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2014, 12:36:33 AM »
.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2014, 04:03:23 PM »
When my eldest dd was 2, I watched her almost drown. It absolutely was quiet. ANd her dad was literally standing  in shallow water a foot or two from her !

I was 8 months pregnant with our second, we were on a retreat "camping" trip with alot of extended family, his siblings with their spouses and children. Our child was the youngest. A few of the fathers were in the swimming hole with the kids, my husband had our 2 year old. I was far back on beach with other moms, supposed to be relaxing and reading magazines, etc... I happened to be looking that way because it was nice to see them all playing. He was right there with her, but shallow water for him was high up on her chest. He turned the other way to talk to his brother and watch the antics of the older kids, she took a step, and then was just silently floating face down in the water. no noise, no movement. It was very surreal. No one else saw it but me, I wasnt close. The guys in the water are just talking and laughing. I started yelling and moving, it was real crowded, so this sea of people is parting for me - the crazed, huge whale of a pregnant woman yelling, gesticulating and lumbering towards the water.  About the time my feet hit the water, he heard me, looked back and pulled her out, sputtering and coughing up water. Once I saw she was ok, I smiled (at her only) and walked off, I didnt want her to become scared of the water. But, it is that quick. In a crowded vacation spot, she could easily be unnoticed long enough to need medical attention, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, or die, and all silently. My husband could never admit she was in danger, or there was a problem, which was actually the scariest part of the whole thing. Other fathers I didnt know who witnessed it at the swimming hole did come up to me during the week, they got it, and it realy made them keep an extra eye on the little ones. One told me, that he thought at the time, "I'm glad that wasnt me..."

I never took my eyes off of her the rest of the week, and she did have so many swimming lessons and was such a water kid that she swam on swim team for college

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2014, 01:51:26 AM »
I was on the underwater end of drowning when I was about 3.  It is very quiet and peaceful.

My mom used to take us over to a neighbor who had a pool and they and all us kids would go swimming.  I remember going underwater, not being able to get to the surface and just settling on the bottom sitting quietly.  I remember just sitting there and even at that young age thinking this was the end so relax and wait for it.  Suddenly my big brother dove in near me grabbed my arm and yank me to the surface. 

If I had been on the surface to yell and splash then I would have been breathing and there would be nothing to get excited about.  You don't know you are drowning until you are down and can't get back up to the surface, then it is too late.  I severe toe, foot, or leg cramp (or other injury) though could put you in peril while still on the surface and in that special circumstance you might be able to yell and splash for help.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2014, 09:26:57 AM »
I remember loving the water when I was younger.  I was swimming in a pool, holding my breath, and being just fine, as I floated to the bottom of the pool, just wanting to peacefully relax in the water, face down.  Suddenly I was yanked to the surface by... I forget now, but it was either a lifeguard, or my panicking mother.

I didn't understand at the time that my enjoying a peaceful float looked so much like real, actual drowning.

Offline tjstruck88

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2014, 05:15:22 PM »
Sweet! now I'm a little less stupid, thanks for posting

Offline Cory (NewOldTech)

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2015, 01:09:35 PM »
Awesome article! +1!

Offline kckndrgn

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2015, 11:25:20 AM »
Excellent article.

I remember not too long ago seeing a vid on youtube of a kid getting rescued by a lifeguard.  People all around, but no one noticed.

Her's another vid, just found, seems to be a great example.  I didn't spot the drowning kid until the lifeguard got to her.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0KTqPloUiU

Offline mgw44

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2016, 08:55:10 PM »
Perfect description of drowning. Reading it helps me articulate what I've witnessed when I've had to help kids in the water.  I never learned this in lifeguard class at the YMCA

Mgw44

Offline nocturnal

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Re: Do you know what drowning looks like?
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2019, 02:19:10 AM »
Thanks again for posting this. I was that little kid once, almost drowned without even knowing it, I was 3 or 4 years old. Playing by the lake, slipped silently from the dock.
Children really drown without a sound. So please keep eyes on the water when children are swimming or playing by the water.
Assume there are sharks and alligators in the water if your child can't swim.