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Thread: Drowning Prevented

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Drowning Prevented

    So long story short, brother in law and family at my house over the weekend swimming. His daughter who relies on floaties was in attendance. The men who were in the pool were shooting hoops. The daughter in question took off her floaties and got into pool on large first step. Nobody noticed including women who were siting right there by pool edge. A few seconds later she stepped off third step into 3' deep water. I'm shooting hoops and see head bobing in shallow end, I'm 10' away with the father. Hair color matches my daughter who can swim, so at first I'm like that's my daughter, then for some reason I say out Loud "who is that?" And at the same time realize it is the one who can't swim. I react without answering my spoken question and dive to her and lift as much as I can but I'm horizontal in the water so I lift and she goes up but I go down. The father reacts when he sees me dive and it ends up being a handoff. All parties play it down, but it was seconds away from being a CPR situation, one breath underwater and it would have been different. The story we read and is often posted about drowning doesn't sound like drowning is in my opinion true, and having read it probably spawned my reaction. In hindsight I just think how important it is to be ever vigilant in watching those that can't swim, we thought by being in the pool, with others watching, we were being vigilant, but we weren't. Seconds matter and luckily they were on our side.
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    That had to have been scary. Good job. I watch my kids like a hawk even though they can swim pretty good.

    Kids in pool, adult always there at my house. That's our rules.


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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    So glad for your quick reaction and that all is well. A good reminder for us all especially new pool owners like me.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Great Job! You're absolutely right, never assume someone else is watching.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Wow. That is a close call I NEVER want to have. 1 accidental drowning is one drowning too many.

    Way to react! Was your heartbeat around the 220-240 range? Or did it stop beating altogether?! (no distasteful pun intended, of course)

    Good Job!
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Good Job man! I had a similar situation with people who were using diving weights and my aqualung. The weights were for negative buoyancy because of a dry suit for patching pools. For some reason they had trouble with the regulator and started to choke and panic. I was kind of in your situation where I couldn't support them especially with the weights. I found that even in 8 feet of water you can take a breath and hold them up over your head by their butt so you have the floor of the pool to walk them to the edge. Drowning is scary.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Yet another reason people should have proper training when using scuba gear, even in a pool.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Yes heart was pumping, but I was more astonished that it could happen with so many eyes on the pool. Of course the father immediately went into why did you take your floaties off and what were you thinking. And the daughter was like I don't want to go to swimming lessons next week. We all held our emotions to try and not freak out the girl but really she was freaked out, not crying and screaming but you could tell her nerves were seriously affected. We got her right back in and swimming, you don't want the fear to be life altering, but healthy fear is good, similar to getting right back on the horse you fell off. It was eye opening for me the pool owner, and justified my previous, and my wives previous strictness. Just now it's a whole nother level.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    This is one reason why I don't like floaties. They are too easy for the child to take off, they can pop easily, or they can leak air and loose buoyancy. My boys wore a life jacket that buckled between the legs as well as across the chest. They knew if they took the jacket off they were not allowed in the water.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    In response to the floaties; my wife found these "Puddle Jumpers" which are floaty type supports that strap around the chest, yet buckle in the back. Both of our boys under 3 swim great with these, and there's very little possibility for a scary situation. The boys cannot unbuckle them, and it's a life vest material, so doesn't lose buoyancy. Also not cumbersome, which helps in building kid's confidence. They feel uneasy with a bulky jacket.

    Also 2nd the need for vigilance when swimming with non swimmers. Drowning is a very creepy calm occurrence. Rarely is there trashing about and screaming, more often just a poor soul slipping below without breathe. Stay alert!
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    I think floaties have their place, which is under direct constant observation by an adult who is also in the water nearby. The problem is they are all too often used as a babysitting tool, or as a crutch by children that should have out grown them long ago.

    Ike

    ps I am glad things worked out ok
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    I am not a fan of floaties. I am one of life vests in the pool. My daughter wore one until she could swim and keep her face out of the water. We always had an extra for guest swimmers too. If you start them before they can say NO, they never learn they have a choice and they expect it after about three swims.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    After reading DirtyRat91's comment I felt like I should share a (somewhat embarrassing) personal experience, this one is just to show that it is not only non swimmers that can potentially drown, but it can be anyone at any time around the water. Way back when I was a college student in my 20's I worked as a scuba instructor in the summers (great part time job, lousy full time job). One late spring / early summer weekend I was at the local quarry where we did student certification dives, they had a swimming pool sized training platform surrounded by a floating dock and it had a submerged platform about 3 ft deep and 3 feet wide at one end for entry and exit. I was in the water waiting for my next set of students to arrive after finishing up the training dive from my first set of students that day, wearing the bottom half of my wetsuit (farmer john style with long sleeve top which I had removed), the water was cold, yet it was a particularly hot sunny day, so I had removed the velcro shoulder straps and peeled down the farmer john bib part of the wetsuit to try to cool off while standing on the entry platform. Note I mentioned it was a late spring day above, and this quarry had just opened for is summer swimmer / diver season so the entry platform was very slippery with algae, so while I was at the platform alone, the nearest people maybe 100-200 feet away, my feet suddenly slid out from under me and I suddenly found myself inverted in 20 feet of water just off the side of the entry platform with the wetsuit acting like a cork suddenly peeled down around my calves and my dive boots and fins bobbing up out of the water keeping the wetsuit from peeling the rest of the way off my legs. It felt as if someone was holding me by the legs dangling me inverted into the water and the only way I could get air was attempting to do inverted sit ups and get my head above water long enough to get a quick gasp of air. Thankfully after about half a dozen gasps I was able to grab the entry platform and hold myself above the water long enough to catch my breath and get back right side up. One of the people in the distance later asked me what was up, they had thought I was just trying to cool off.

    Ike
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  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Some rules that I think are helpful.

    1) Always find out which people can swim, and which can't (adults and kids). Make everyone aware of who can and cannot swim.
    2) Always make sure someone specific is watching the pool. When everyone assumes that everyone else is watching, there is often no one watching. When the designated person needs a break, they should make sure someone else assumes primary responsibility.
    3) Make sure that the kids know to keep an eye on each other, and what to do if they think there is a problem. Teach them to recognize potential problems before they happen, such as a non-swimmer getting in the pool.

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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Great ending to that story. Thanks for sharing!
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyRat91
    In response to the floaties; my wife found these "Puddle Jumpers" which are floaty type supports that strap around the chest, yet buckle in the back. Both of our boys under 3 swim great with these, and there's very little possibility for a scary situation. The boys cannot unbuckle them, and it's a life vest material, so doesn't lose buoyancy. Also not cumbersome, which helps in building kid's confidence. They feel uneasy with a bulky jacket.

    Also 2nd the need for vigilance when swimming with non swimmers. Drowning is a very creepy calm occurrence. Rarely is there trashing about and screaming, more often just a poor soul slipping below without breathe. Stay alert!
    I second the puddle jumpers...super safe - still have to watch, but at least you know they can't get out of them without help.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    My kids are not allowed on pool deck unless an adult is outside with them. The two older ones can stand in the pool but the younger ones can't and must have a life jacket on when on the pool deck. The pool deck has a locked gate as well joining to the regular deck.

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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Thanks to you, harleysilo, this story had a great ending.

    Sharing your story here will surely help others be more aware
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    Quote Originally Posted by pwrstrk
    Kids in pool, adult always there at my house. That's our rules.
    A good rule to live by. There's no substitute for common sense.
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    Re: Drowning Prevented

    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
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