How to recognize when someone is drowning

If I’d seen this before, I would have posted it at the start of the summer: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning. This is incredibly useful advice for people who live in a state with more than ten thousand lakes, or people who live on the coast, or people who live in places with swimming pools, or places with water, period.

Key point: drowning doesn’t look the way it’s portrayed in TV, with thrashing and splashing and gurgling cries for help. It looks like this:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

You know, somebody ought to publish that in the Minnesota newspapers every spring. It might save some lives.

(via Making Light)