Lifeguard Basics Section(I) How To Save Someone From Drowning

Sean_VictorydawnStarred Page By Sean_Victorydawn, 25th Oct 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Emergency Preparedness>First Aid

Only when there is limited time before the Emergency Rescuers arrive, you must follow these guidelines to buy time for the victims to be saved. Because you can neither risk the victims' safety nor your own safety.

Moving The Victim Away From The Danger

This is the very first care you will ever ought to take for a victim who is ill or injured, after calling the Emergency Dispatcher 9-1-1 ...

and this was the primary training given to public by Henry Dunant(picture on the right) in 1859 to care for wounded soldiers and prisoners after the Battle Of Solferino, a few years before he founded Red Cross. Continue reading here: History's First Movement to Serve Humanity and to Remove Borders honored with the 1901-Nobel Peace Prize.

Move the victim only if at least one of these circumstances are present:

    * The scene is becoming unsafe
    * The person is trapped or stuck
    * The person is likely to drown
    * The first victim is blocking access to someone with a more serious or more urgent injury/illness
    * The victim's position stops you from giving care for a life-threatening injury or illness

There are two basic strategies of moving the victim away from the danger:

    1) With physical contact
    2) Without physical contact

1) Moving The Victim With Physical Contact

Always ensure your own safety first. No matter what the situation is, never put yourself in danger. Before you try to move someone, assess his surroundings, study his medical condition at first glance to decide if you can drag or carry him. Make sure you have enough supplies you need to do this safely. Put on latex gloves if you suspect an infection or a spreading disease on his body. Put on more safety equipment(oxygen mask etc.) or cover(a blanket etc.) if he is poisoned by gas or radiated by nuclear leak, if he is attacked and covered by wasps,mosquitoes etc. or if he is electrocuted. Make sure the cause of his injury does not spread on you.

There are 5 ways to move a victim away from the danger with physical contact, in order of seriousness of the victim's medical condition listed from the least dangerous to the most dangerous:

1a) Walking Assist

To move someone who needs help walking to safety:

    ! Have the person stand up
    !! Stand on the person's weak or injured side and put his arm across your shoulders. Hold it there with one hand.
    !!! Support the person with your other hand around the waist.
    !V Move the person to safety.

1b) Single-Person Carry and Two-Person Seat Carry

When you have a First Aider partner to assist you to carry a victim who cannot walk and isn't likely to have a head, neck, or back injury:

    ! Stand on one side of the person
    !! Put one arm under the person's thighs and the other across the person's back while the other First Aider does the same thing
    !!! Hold the other First Aider's wrists underneath the person's legs and across the person's back. Have the other First Aider hold your wrists
    !V Move the victim to safety

1c) Clothes Drag

To move someone who seem to have a head, neck, or back injury:

    ! Hold the victim's clothing behind his neck
    !! Pull the victim to safety
    !!! While moving the victim, cradle the head with the person's clothes and your hands. Keep the person's head, neck, and back in a straight line as best as you can

1d) Foot Drag

To move a victim who cannot otherwise be carried or moved:

    ! Firmly grasp the victim's ankles and move backwards
    !! Pull the victim in a straight line, being careful not to bump his head

1e) Blanket Drag

This drag is preferred in crime scenes where no fingerprint on the victim is tolerated. To move the victim when you don't have a stretcher:

    ! Keep the victim's body between you and the blanket
    !! Gather half the blanket and place it against side of the body
    !!! Roll the body towards you. Make sure it moves as a unit
    !V Reach over and pull the blanket towards the victim's body so that you can roll the body on top of it
    V Roll the victim's body back onto the blanket
    V! Gather the blanket at the head and move the body to safety

2) Moving The Victim Without Physical Contact

This is the preferred technique with the least possible risk to save someone from drowning without the help of a lifeguard.

To rescue a drowning person who is nearby in the water:
! Stand safe and hold your position tight
!! Always keep one leg and one arm back, never risk both of your arms and legs ever
!!! Find something that you can hold out to reach the victim, such as a pole, oar, paddle, tree branch, shirt, belt, towel, but most professionally a boating rope which gives you the maximum chance of reaching out to a drowning person even though they are far away from your boat
!V Even more professionally a floating device like a life buoy(on the photo below)
V Lie down in a safe position holding your position tight. Firmly brace yourself so you won't get pulled into the water
V! If you can't lie down, crouch or bend on one knee
V!! Stay as far from the water's edge as you can
V!!! Hold out or throw your reaching assist for the drowning victim to grab
!X Pull the reaching assist back in and then move to the edge of the water when the victim is secured
X Help moving the victim by lifting him out of the water with the use of the reaching assist

The Real Deal: When A Life Buoy Is Of No Assist

If there is a lifeguard available rushing to rescue a drowning victim, in most cases they won't consider risking their lives either.

    First they clear the area, and they grab the fastest riding speed-boat. Second they assess your coordinates in the sea(they all have a map of the sea), and they study the incident. Third they reach the target, throw a life buoy, and pull the victim in. Simple as pie. 1,2,3 and done.

What is not that simple, and what turns your day a party in Hell is one of these dangerous scenarios, listed in order from the least serious to the most fatal:

Saving Victims From Drowning Where There Is No Lifeguard Equipment Available

Attention: Don't Ever Attempt to Save A Victim From Drowning, unless you recently practiced how to do it well with a certified lifeguard or a Navy personnel, or at least with someone who you know for sure saving people from drowning.

A Closer Attention Here: Don't Ever Attempt to Practice on Saving A Victim From Drowning, Unless You Can Comfortably Swim with one arm and one leg only, and If You Don't Possess The Physical Condition of being able to carry a weight that is up to 3 times the half of your weight. Because you ought to use only half of your body, when rescuing someone from drowning. The other half of your body is needed to be floated on the sea, otherwise you will drown together with the victim.

When you are picking which arm and which leg to use to save the drowning victim, you have only two options: You will either need to choose the diagonal arm and leg combination, or to choose the vertical arm and leg combination. Meaning, when you are rescuing a drowning victim you can only start to use 1 arm and 1 leg to swim, since the other arm and leg will support the force to carry the weight of the victim, and never change the combination until you land.

Your steady arm and your steady leg are needed to lock the victim from chest and from waist. Your steady arm locks the chest and your steady leg locks the waist of the victim and remains in that locking position until your feet touch the ground bottom of the sea. If you can walk inside the sea, then you don't need to swim; and since you don't need to swim then you can use both of your arms and legs to carry the victim.

This knowledge is required essentially when you need to save multiple drowning victims at once. Save them one by one. If two victims are next to you, when your feet touch the bottom of the sea, you can carry one victim on each side of your body, as you walk inside the sea.

Pay Attention: Unless you can walk inside the sea when your feet touching the ground, never attempt to carry two victims at once, no matter how small or how light they are. The only option available for you when you need to save two victims at once is to put them on top of each other, like a mother and her child. If a mother and her child are drowning at the same time, keep the child on top of the mother, and make sure within your single-arm-embrace-lock you both hold the child and the mother.

Encounter With Herds Of Jellyfish, Piranha, and Attacks Of Octopuses and Sharks Without Any Weaponry

The idea herein this scenario is not only we don't have any weapon, but we also cannot attack a jellyfish, piranha, octopus, or shark for whatever reason.

Although safety is not guaranteed, here are the steps for the safest solution:

    * Find and assess the direction of the herd, or where the octopus and shark is leading to
    * Open the way to them, let them go
    * They bother you just because they don't want you in their territory
    * Let them go if they are on the go, you stay and wait for them, and never head towards that direction no more
    * Let them stay if they tend to stay as they draw circles around you. That means they don't want you in this territory
    * Dive fast and dive deep, swim under the herd, swim towards a different direction not towards it, or not against it

How to distinguish a dolphin from a shark?

How so ever you distinguish a cat from a dog. Dolphins are adventurous and social-sensitive, they always welcome visitors around them. Each time a dolphin draw circles around you meaning, "welcome play with me". On the other hand a shark is not that smart, he can never finish the circle he is drawing. A shark is as dumb as a guard dog. A dolphin is as charming and as approachable as a cat. Sharks are the noisy and nasty guard dogs of the sea -in one particular sea he was born in- even if all other fish leave his territory, he won't leave. Dolphins are silent sleepy lazy and cute cats of the seas, all the seas, they don't mind travelling anywhere.

Octopuses are highly vulnerable animals, like sharks they worry about the safety of their territory. Mention that shark is the cavalry of an army, and octopus is the cannon. Not attacking them does not mean you are defenseless. Not attacking them ultimately means I don't care about you and I am not afraid of you. Keep the same mentality even if they keep hitting you with their noses. They won't bite unless you attack them first. Sharks and dolphins would like to hit their enemies with their noses first. Best respond, although risky, is to punch them back on their nose. A nice strong and direct punch on the nose has the benefit of building an everlasting friendship with the shark or the dolphin. Yet the risk I mentioned is if you cannot punch him well on the nose, the shark can grab your arm and bite it in an instance, so can dolphins too. When you are encountered with an octopus, shark, whale consider them as dogs. Just pass by, and just like a dog it will stop barking or go on his own way.

Supernatural Disasters In The Sea

    Mention you are stuck in a whirlpool eddy. Who can ever save you?

Any help that comes from the sea or from under the sea is useless. It's only a helicopter that can ever save a victim of a whirlpool in a sea or an ocean.

    Storm and Tornado in the sea. Who can ever save you?

If you want to live, you must be wearing a diver's suit. No exceptions. You can only be saved by diving to the depths of the sea until you find a cave to hide in at the very bottom ground of the sea.

    Earthquake greater than 12 Richter Magnitude Scales in the middle of the sea. Who can ever save you?

It's my favorite type of disaster I always wanted to be rescued from. Only with a supersonic airplane that can land on the water, you can be rescued. And the best part is you will witness the greatest scenic view of gigantic waves reshaping the looks of the Earth.

    Multiple Tornadoes from 4 different directions, Multiple Maelstroms from the 4 diagonal directions in between, and an Earthquake all happening at once. Who can ever save you?

This is gotta be quite the end of the Earth. Only a NASA personnel operating a Gravity Manipulator Space Shuttle can save you to take you to an orbital platform of the late Earth. Now I am not sure which one provides a better scenic view; this one or the previous one.

Bibliography, References, External Sources, Media and Image Credits, Hosting, and Supplementary Publications

* Canadian Red Cross First Aid & CPR Manual, Chapter-3, pg: 20-23, a publication of The Staywell Health Company Ltd. a division of ®Staywell PA 19067-4200 USA
ISBN: 1-58480-349-5

* web-hosted image credits and guiding charts are retrieved from ©2006-Canadian Red Cross Society Dispatched Disaster Services Archives with the co-sponsorship of ®NexCare First Aid, and with the co-hosting of Free Power Point Templates Editor's Pick

* drowning victims news video from WIVBTV News 4 Youtube Channel

* rescuing a drowning victim video from
U.S. Navy SEALs on Youtube

* distinguishing between a dolphin and a shark video from
UNEXSO Grand Bahama Island on Youtube

* supernatural disasters in the sea video from
Top 10 on Youtube, sponsored by Mila Zinkova National Geographic Photographer, San Francisco,CA.

* other Wikinut articles from this topic and related sub-topics:

Have you tried Wikinut yet? Write about whatever you like and get paid royalties -


12 Richter Magnitude, Dolphins, Emergency Rescue, Emergency Training, Gravity Manipulator Space Shuttle, Jellyfish, Life Buoy, Maelstrom, Nasa, National Geographic, Nobel Peace Prize, Octopus Attack, Piranhas, Red Cross, Shark Attack, Supernatural, Us Navy

Meet the author

author avatar Sean_Victorydawn
Cihan, mid-senior level experienced publicist and production coordinator, works for the local Ottawa media production company Victorydawn Pictures since 2012.

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