View Full Version : Man dies from (suspected) breath holding

12-30-2015, 04:58 PM
This is so sad! While deaths from underwater blackouts are rare, THEY STILL HAPPEN. *Anyone* regardless of how skilled they are, or how safely they practice being underwater, can have a blackout and drown. This is why it's so incredibly important to NEVER SWIM ALONE IN YOUR MERMAID TAIL and always have someone nearby who knows the signs. Merwrangler Sean is ALWAYS watching to make sure mermaids are responsive underwater. Our hearts go out to this family. http://6abc.com/news/florida-officials-investigate-drowning-of-dartmouth-swimmer/1139227/

(please keep comments respectful, from reading the articles the guy was a known swimmer, in a safe space, with lifeguards, and it still happened. Don't presume to know all the details and pass judgement saying he must not have been safe enough. This can happen to ANYONE. )

12-30-2015, 06:09 PM
It's terrifying to think these kind of things happen quite often in supervised pools.

There was a similar case here a few months ago.
It's important for every mer to realize that normal lifeguard supervision quite likely will not save you in case of an emergency.
Always have a friend/buddy watching you attentively when you swim underwater.

Tom Cardwell
12-30-2015, 08:20 PM
Holy crap, dude was trying to do 4 laps on one breath at a YMCA pool.
My local YMCAs give me HOLY HELL if I swim ONE lap without coming up for air.
I bet the entire staff at that Y was fired, should have never happened.

12-30-2015, 09:26 PM
This is so sad!in the conditions he was under,this could have been 100% avoidable!It may have not been too smart to think that 4 laps on one breath was possible,but it still should have been able to be prevented :P

Mermaid Jaffa
12-30-2015, 10:26 PM
How sad. He was a good swimmer too. My condolences to the family.

Mermaid Wesley
12-30-2015, 10:54 PM
A good reminder. I've heard that you can pass out really abruptly and unexpectedly. Always have a spotter always always

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mermaid Jaffa
12-30-2015, 11:13 PM
And always take breaks in between swimming laps. Even if you feel like you don't need to, take breaks, eat some food, regain energy, rest and digest, then swim.

Mermaid Julianne
12-31-2015, 12:39 AM
As a lifeguard, it really hits me personally to read this kind of stuff. I work at a pond with murky water and low visibility. Scanning for signs of trouble and doing constant checks are extremely important to myself and my co lifeguards, especially since its difficult to see. Seeing this happen to someone so young, in a pool setting? I... I can't.

I sincerely hope his family is doing okay during this time. Hopefully others will see this and learn how important it is to not over work yourself and to communicate what you're doing with those near you.

12-31-2015, 02:19 AM
That's a tragic story. It could happen to anyone, and often does happen to experienced, trained swimmers and freedivers. It's important to know *why* shallow water blackout happens. Here's one website I found on shallow water blackout awareness that is targeted at swimmers: http://www.shallowwaterblackoutprevention.org/how-it-happens
But it's important to know how it can happen to freedivers, as well. Blackouts are caused by cerebral hypoxia (low oxygen in the brain). That can be caused by an overextended breath hold, but it can also happen when a freediver is surfacing from a dive, as the air in the lungs expands again and the partial pressure of oxygen drops suddenly (same small amount of oxygen as was in the compressed lungs at depth, but suddenly in a much larger air volume at the surface). The scariest part is that there's often no noticeable trigger to breathe :-/

12-31-2015, 02:33 PM
^ yup exactly. Thank you for the facts!

12-31-2015, 04:18 PM
Yes it's important to remember that lifeguards can't see everything happening in a pool, or at the beach, all the time.

FWIW, here in Toronto during freediving underwater swims (dynamic apnea) the trainee/competitor swims in the leftmost or rightmost lane of the pool and one person walks along the edge of the pool watching them, while another person swims along the surface in the next lane over watching them. This way they can react instantly if something goes wrong.