I was going to write a blogpost today about the Joplin tornadoes BUT when scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came upon this article:
Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning
I had absolutely no idea. According to Mario Vittone, Marine Safety Specialist with the United States Coast Guard Sector:
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 alright?” 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.
The article goes on to list the specific symptoms of someone drowning. This is pretty much required reading for anyone involved in water sports or aquatics.
It reminds me of what to do when someone's choking--they always say that if a person is able to say, "Hey! I'm choking!" then they're fine. It's only when someone is unable to speak that you've got a medical emergency on your hands.
But really, people. It's easy! When in doubt, just yell out, "Are you okay?" If the person says yes, then you'll just look like a particularly caring bystander. If they cannot respond, then you've got to get a trained professional in the water to rescue them immediately.