Most people who drown had no intention of going into the water. They end up in the water unexpectedly, from a sudden slip, fall or capsized boat. They are within easy reach of safety but do not have the basic self-rescue skills to survive the incident. Close to 60% of all drownings occur within 2m from safety.
Non-swimmers seldom wave for help. Drowning is often silent. Getting air is their only concern. They will often claw at the surface with their hands.
Make sure you are safe. Find things that float to use, and have a bystander help you.
Call for help!
Then, TALK-Tell them to stay calm and to swim to safety.
THROW-an object that can float and is easily held (i.e. lifejacket) have them kick back.
REACH-give them an object, stay low, hold onto something solid so you stay safe.
WADE-only into waist deep water and either throw or reach out with a floating object.
Be a good role model. Be attentive, be watchful, and stay within arm’s reach. Always model safe behavior and teach how to be safe around water. Create safe places at the beach. Check for hazards in the water and around the beach.
Your primary role as your ‘Family’s Lifeguard’ is prevention.
Set the rules. Always have a ‘designated lifeguard’ at the beach. Expect children and adults to follow the rules, including you. Non-swimmers should wear a properly fitted lifejacket.
Know your emergency plan. Know what to do during an emergency. As a family practice that plan. Have emergency phone number easily accessible.
Get trained and stay skilled. Learn lifesaving skills in a Bronze medallion course. Take a CPR class. Learning CPR is now easier than ever. Stay fit and practice what you’ve learned.
CLICK HERE to watch our video on Water Safety!