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Thread: Drowning--The real signs you need to know.

  1. #1
    Member Undisclosed Pod TheSolitarySiren's Avatar
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    Drowning--The real signs you need to know.

    As mermaids, drowning is probably something we don't know very well. Even to humans, it's a bit unknown. But it's a subject that needs to have some awareness, especially when at groups, parties, gatherings, ect. that have people who can at any moment be under the water's surface gasping for air. I recently came across an article on drowning and the signs to watch for when looking at other people. I wish to share this knowledge and hope you mermaids apply it to your daily swimming lives to save a few human lives.

    What drowning is like or in other words Instinctive Drowning Response:
    1. “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
    2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
    3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
    4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
    5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”



    This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long—but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
    Signs of Drowning:
    Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
    • 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
    • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder


    So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK—don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you all right?” If they can answer at all—they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents—children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.
    You can find the article here: http://www.slate.com/articles/health...le_in_the.html

    and read the man's short story of the nine-year-old almost drowning.

    I've seen someone drown once and even though it wasn't ME drowning it still has scarred me to this very day. Every time I go to the pool, lake, or ocean, I'm always looking out for other kids that are swimming. I hope you all do too and help prevent drowning in your own way. I also would like to recommend people to get CPR certified. I've been CPR certified and have renewed my CPR multiple times. It's always great to know and keep that fresh in mind if there is ever a time and need.

    How to CPR on Adults: http://www.wikihow.com/Do-CPR-on-an-Adult
    How to CPR on Infants: http://www.wikihow.com/Do-CPR-on-a-Baby
    Last edited by TheSolitarySiren; 06-05-2013 at 05:25 AM.
    Just a loner mermaid from the far edges of the sea. Don't mind me.


  2. #2
    Administrator Pod of Cali malinghi's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. This is really important and useful info that could save a life.

  3. #3
    wow, the 'non-responsive' thing really surprised me. Thank you for posting this! I feel like I've learnt something very important!

  4. #4

    This! Absolutely, this. I suggest we make it a sticky thread~! Thanks Siren!

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    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod MerAnthony's Avatar
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    WOW! I never knew. Thanks for posting.
    Be Happy Swim Free

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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSolitarySiren View Post
    This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long—but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
    well, good that's mentioned.
    Otherwise one might go,
    "there's a dude yelling his head off, waving and thrashing. Deffo not drowning, so he's ok"

  7. #7
    Stickied! Thanks for posting it! I too feel I've learned something extremely important!

    Wingéd Mermaid Iona

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  8. #8
    Member Undisclosed Pod TheSolitarySiren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caltuna View Post
    well, good that's mentioned.
    Otherwise one might go,
    "there's a dude yelling his head off, waving and thrashing. Deffo not drowning, so he's ok"
    I had the same response to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Mermaid View Post
    Stickied! Thanks for posting it! I too feel I've learned something extremely important!
    Thank you. I'm glad it's important enough to be stickied.
    Just a loner mermaid from the far edges of the sea. Don't mind me.


  9. #9
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Theobromine's Avatar
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    I'm really glad you posted this, it's important knowledge for anyone who swims. I believe movies and TV have given people an inaccurate image of what drowning actually looks like.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pod of Cali spottedcatfish's Avatar
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    Very interesting and incredibly useful.

  11. #11
    I saw this on Facebook and read it. I honestly thought drowning was like in the movies, so it never made sense to me how they wouldn't grab onto something. Now I realize they can't. This is why nobody should be in the water alone, not even in a boat. My sister's best friend drowned recently and she's still devastated, and she feels responsible because she didn't know he was going canoeing. If she'd known, she would have helped him and he'd be able to graduate with her...
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  12. #12
    I am glad this was posted. it's important that everyone know what drowning looks like. it's true that when drowning, your legs don't want to work. I can't remember mine moving at all, although my arms tried to thrash. I didn't know about the not being able to yell part, as I myself wasn't able to surface at all during the time. thank you for posting this information TheSolitarySiren
    Hugs, fishes, and mermaid kisses!

  13. #13
    Thanks for this! It can help me a lot!
    (Formerly known as Mermaid Claudia)

  14. #14
    Yeah! Good job for posting this! It's very helpful and super important.
    Formerly known as "kimmie".

  15. #15
    Thought this video of a real case of a kid almost drowning and the rescue by a lifeguard might be helpful

    http://youtu.be/00Iks81-ZV4

  16. #16
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Miyu's Avatar
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    Wow, this was really helpful, thanks!

    ~Miyu the Rainforest Mermaid~

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  17. #17
    WOW! this was really informative and important for someone to post! i'm glad someone got it out and informed us all! Its important for even mermaids to be aware of other mermaids and their safety! I think it scares me more if a mermaid were drowning in her tail! that would be just if not more horrifying..
    I posted in another thread earlier in the week that I was almost drowned as a prank as a child and no one wanted to rescue me because the water was too cold... so I can identify with how horrifying and terrible it is. Its not something I would ever want to go through or wish on someone else. I heard that people can drown in just an inch of water. so its def. an important issue.
    Last edited by Imogen Finnly; 10-08-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: want to tell a story!
    cats cats cats...whats up with those things?

    Formerly known as jayy

  18. #18
    Another good article on recognizing drowning situations & rescuing

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health...le_in_the.html

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pod of the Midwest
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    When I train new lifeguards one video I show is http://www.yonigottesman.com/video/d...ing_video.html, which really gets their attention (you won't believe how many lifeguards don't take guarding seriously). I find many videos I use at https://sites.google.com/site/lifeguardslovevideos/home. As part of being able to train lifeguards I can teach CPR if anyone is interested in learning and is near me (which is no one but figure I would still say it).

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pod of the Midwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid Shayna View Post
    ...so it never made sense to me how they wouldn't grab onto something. Now I realize they can't...
    Sometimes they uncontrollably grab something and push it down to get themselves up. Sadly this can mean someone who is rescuing them. One of the things we train lifeguards is how to escape from choke holds in the event a swimmer try to push the guard down so they can get to the surface.

    I'm not one to cuss but I did when I saw this video of an incident at a pool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgUglYhVSkk. It is hard to see exactly what happened but a lady had two children she was trying to keep above the surface, but in order to do that she had to submerge herself and she started drowning*. When the lifeguard got there she had lost her lifeguard tube. She started going under water herself since she didn't regain her tube before she connected with the three. Things could have been much worse however lifeguards are trained for these events and stay in control so if she needed to submerge she could.

    Something that sometimes happens at pools is people (read adults) start to drown in 3 ft water at the bottom of the slide. They get disoriented and start to panic and drown not realizing the just need to stand up.

    *a few years before I became a lifeguard I was swimming with some kids in my day camp, and one girl started to drown because it was really deep for her. I was already underwater when it started to happen and I pushed up her legs** to get her above water and towards the wall.

    **a few years after I became a lifeguard I was teaching swim lessons and the kids were going off the diving board. One of my kids jumped out too far and hit me on my head. He knocked me underwater and I think I blacked out for a second. When I realized what happened my instinct was to find him but I couldn't see from the bubbles and couldn't feel him so I came back up to the surface. When I got to the surface I still couldn't see him and his mother was running over. When she got over to us she was much more worried about me. I turned around and found he grabbed my rescue tube and was just floating there and laughing.

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