What stops people shouting and waving when drowning?


THAT'S THE WHY:What does drowning look like? Someone waving and calling out for help?

Think again, according to an article that has been doing the rounds on the internet of late.

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning, penned by marine safety specialist and writer Mario Vittone, points

out that someone in genuine distress in the water may splash about and call for help, and at this point they may be able to grab a lifeline

and aid in their own rescue.

But drowning itself is often a “deceptively quiet event”, according to Vittone, who refers to an instinctive drowning response where a person’s body is upright in the water with no supportive kick and their arms are out laterally, trying to keep the head above water.

Shouting or calling is often not possible for a person who is actually drowning – we need to breathe in order to speak. Vittone says that parents should pay particular attention if their children go quiet in the water.

“Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning,” he writes in his article.

“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.”

You can read the full article at mariovittone.com

For more on water-based emergencies and how to react, see the Irish Water Safety website at iws.ie