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(Slate)   Good luck trying to tell if someone is drowning   (slate.com) divider line 36
    More: PSA, Emily Bazelon, Coast Guard  
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4925 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jun 2013 at 6:02 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-06 12:37:32 AM
Are their lungs full of water? (Y/N)
 
2013-06-06 04:56:12 AM
Also known as "Shatnering"
 
2013-06-06 05:36:29 AM
The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. "I think he thinks you're drowning," the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. "We're fine; what is he doing?" she asked, a little annoyed. "We're fine!" the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. "Move!" he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their 9-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, "Daddy!"

Yeah, none of this actually happened to anyone in particular.

/but thanks for letting us know that drowning usually doesn't involve a lot splashing and hand waving and alternating shaky-cam cut-to wide shot of negligent beachfolk. Now we know.

cdn3.sbnation.com
 
2013-06-06 06:12:42 AM
Hit them in the head with something and see if they yell?
 
2013-06-06 06:16:16 AM
I struggle with situations that aren't black and white, so I prefer to wait until the person is either drowned or definitely not drowned before paying any attention. It's so hard to gauge if that little kid is just flapping his arms because he's doing a pee in the pool and it feels good or if his lungs are taking in water.
Of course I probably shouldn't be a lifeguard but I like sitting on my ass all day in the sun getting paid to look at women in bikinis.
 
2013-06-06 06:19:34 AM
\o/
 
2013-06-06 06:27:50 AM
What's pretty amazing is how softly and without a lot of movement babies submerge. If they are old enough, you can see the shock and fear in their eyes. I've seen it in kids around 1 to 1 and a half. Before that, they just sink into the water serenely with their eyes locked on you.

You'd think with all that baby fat they'd be more buoyant.
 
2013-06-06 06:35:12 AM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Also known as "Shatnering"


Not "Hartmaning"?
 
2013-06-06 06:39:27 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: What's pretty amazing is how softly and without a lot of movement babies submerge. If they are old enough, you can see the shock and fear in their eyes. I've seen it in kids around 1 to 1 and a half. Before that, they just sink into the water serenely with their eyes locked on you.

You'd think with all that baby fat they'd be more buoyant.


That is how a punchline works
 
2013-06-06 06:39:50 AM
5+ years as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.  3 saves, only one of which was while I was actually working.  0 deaths while on duty.  No problem telling if someone is drowning.
 
2013-06-06 06:40:51 AM
Ah. That's the one thing that's great about the news: even if you somehow didn't know what time of year it was, you could tell by the articles they recycle.

(Here's the link to the 2010 Fark article.)

Cicadas...drowning...what's next? Oh! Firework safety tips (immediately followed by a slew of articles about the dumbasses who still don't know them).
 
2013-06-06 06:42:15 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: What's pretty amazing is how softly and without a lot of movement babies submerge. If they are old enough, you can see the shock and fear in their eyes. I've seen it in kids around 1 to 1 and a half. Before that, they just sink into the water serenely with their eyes locked on you.

You'd think with all that baby fat they'd be more buoyant.


What is not amazing is how easy it is to hold babies and really small children under water.  No fight at all in those tiny little bodies.
 
2013-06-06 06:46:24 AM

YoOjo: I struggle with situations that aren't black and white, so I prefer to wait until the person is either drowned or definitely not drowned before paying any attention. It's so hard to gauge if that little kid is just flapping his arms because he's doing a pee in the pool and it feels good or if his lungs are taking in water.
Of course I probably shouldn't be a lifeguard but I like sitting on my ass all day in the sun getting paid to look at women in bikinis.


The static apnea record is 11:35.  So, if you see someone go under you should wait at least that long just to be sure that they are not trying to set a new world record, and just think how horrible it would be to disrupt someone's world record attempt.
 
2013-06-06 06:49:08 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Also known as "Shatnering"

Not "Hartmaning"?


Aww, now I'm depressed.
 
2013-06-06 06:58:54 AM

Mock26: YoOjo: I struggle with situations that aren't black and white, so I prefer to wait until the person is either drowned or definitely not drowned before paying any attention. It's so hard to gauge if that little kid is just flapping his arms because he's doing a pee in the pool and it feels good or if his lungs are taking in water.
Of course I probably shouldn't be a lifeguard but I like sitting on my ass all day in the sun getting paid to look at women in bikinis.

The static apnea record is 11:35.  So, if you see someone go under you should wait at least that long just to be sure that they are not trying to set a new world record, and just think how horrible it would be to disrupt someone's world record attempt.


Only unassisted. For all you know, the person was breathing pure O2 before going in the water and is attempting the break the assisted static apnea record (22:22), you thoughtless jerk.
 
2013-06-06 07:06:55 AM

Lando Lincoln: Are their lungs full of water? (Y/N)


Both. I'm no expert but I believe you can have either a "wet" drowning or a " dry" drowning.
 
2013-06-06 07:25:56 AM
This article may be true, but it annoys me because (a) it has been getting posted everywhere for years and (b) it is written - particularly the first section - in the irritating faux-confidential style otherwise found in the One Minute Manager and books for fundamentalist christian teenagers. It's the need to provide an obviously false anecdote rather than trusting readers with the facts which grates.
 
2013-06-06 07:28:24 AM

Active introvert: Both. I'm no expert but I believe you can have either a "wet" drowning or a " dry" drowning.


Dry drowning s possible, but very, very rare. Claims that it is common or even prevalent rely on poor autopsy practice in the 50s. Later and better research has shown that almost without exception people who drown have water in their lungs. They don't have to be full, though - about 1/4 full is enough to kill you.
 
2013-06-06 07:41:06 AM
i527.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-06 07:54:41 AM

orbister: This article may be true, but it annoys me because (a) it has been getting posted everywhere for years and (b) it is written - particularly the first section - in the irritating faux-confidential style otherwise found in the One Minute Manager and books for fundamentalist christian teenagers. It's the need to provide an obviously false anecdote rather than trusting readers with the facts which grates.


That and the basic point apparently isn't clear enough.  A choking/drowning person is in the worst condition when they're unable to make any noise, but that always seems to be a topic covered later in the article.
 
2013-06-06 07:55:25 AM
This doesn't mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn't in real trouble-they are experiencing aquatic distress.

Well, then, I guess when I was young, I didn't almost drown as I always thought; I merely experienced some aquatic distress... That sounds so much better!

I was at some swimming hole, wading through the shallows, and managed to step into an unseen hole... It was just deep enough that I could leap out long enough to make some sort of noise (nothing really intelligible), then sink back down below the surface again... Everyone that saw me thought I was just farking around and having fun... Eventually, my body said, "fark this!", and decided it suddenly knew how to swim after all... So, I guess I never was in serious danger, but I sure was scared shiatless at the time...
 
2013-06-06 08:07:10 AM

Mock26: 5+ years as a lifeguard and swimming instructor.  3 saves, only one of which was while I was actually working.  0 deaths while on duty.  No problem telling if someone is drowning.


That's because you're paying attention.  Some people think you don't have to pay attention, and that you can hear a scream or a struggle before they go under.
 
2013-06-06 08:12:03 AM
I still think it was a good PSA, and I now blame David Hasselhoff for all drownings.
 
2013-06-06 08:36:14 AM

ArcadianRefugee: Ah. That's the one thing that's great about the news: even if you somehow didn't know what time of year it was, you could tell by the articles they recycle.

(Here's the link to the 2010 Fark article.)

Cicadas...drowning...what's next? Oh! Firework safety tips (immediately followed by a slew of articles about the dumbasses who still don't know them).


As recycled stories go, this one is one I don't mind seeing each year.   I suppose you don't like people pointing out not to shake a child either.  These aren't intuitive things.
 
2013-06-06 08:40:34 AM

orbister: This article may be true, but ...It's the need to provide an obviously false anecdote rather than trusting readers with the facts which grates.


What makes the anecdote "obviously false"? I was a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer at a large waterpark for years, and I have definitely made this rescue at least 2 or 3 times in the wave pool. Right down to yelling "move" at the oblivious parents/friends to get to the drowning person; sometimes when it was crowded enough I would have to push my way through. Even if this exact anecdote is fabricated, it is representative of rescues that happen quite frequently. Ask any lifeguard who has worked at a beach or waterpark (not necessarily your local pool where they sit around tanning and twirling their whistles) and they will have similar stories.

/don't rely on the buddy system: swim near a lifeguard. Your buddy doesn't know what drowning looks like or how to rescue you if you are really drowning (not just distressed).
//getting a kick, etc....
 
2013-06-06 09:25:24 AM

Mock26: AverageAmericanGuy: What's pretty amazing is how softly and without a lot of movement babies submerge. If they are old enough, you can see the shock and fear in their eyes. I've seen it in kids around 1 to 1 and a half. Before that, they just sink into the water serenely with their eyes locked on you.

You'd think with all that baby fat they'd be more buoyant.

What is not amazing is how easy it is to hold babies and really small children under water.  No fight at all in those tiny little bodies.


Darn, I drove a perfectly good car into a lake for nothing.
 
2013-06-06 09:29:53 AM

big pig peaches: Mock26: AverageAmericanGuy: What's pretty amazing is how softly and without a lot of movement babies submerge. If they are old enough, you can see the shock and fear in their eyes. I've seen it in kids around 1 to 1 and a half. Before that, they just sink into the water serenely with their eyes locked on you.

You'd think with all that baby fat they'd be more buoyant.

What is not amazing is how easy it is to hold babies and really small children under water.  No fight at all in those tiny little bodies.

Darn, I drove a perfectly good car into a lake for nothing.


So, how are you supposed to make a baby float?
 
2013-06-06 09:32:32 AM

TheGogmagog: big pig peaches: Mock26: AverageAmericanGuy: What's pretty amazing is how softly and without a lot of movement babies submerge. If they are old enough, you can see the shock and fear in their eyes. I've seen it in kids around 1 to 1 and a half. Before that, they just sink into the water serenely with their eyes locked on you.

You'd think with all that baby fat they'd be more buoyant.

What is not amazing is how easy it is to hold babies and really small children under water.  No fight at all in those tiny little bodies.

Darn, I drove a perfectly good car into a lake for nothing.

So, how are you supposed to make a baby float?


1 scoop ice cream
1 scoop baby
 
2013-06-06 09:46:11 AM

thamike: ...

Yeah, none of this actually happened to anyone in particular.

/but thanks for letting us know that drowning usually doesn't involve a lot splashing and hand waving and alternating shaky-cam cut-to wide shot of negligent beachfolk. Now we know.

[cdn3.sbnation.com image 290x272]


Here is the original,  http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154a/  I don't see any indication that the story is fabricated, though it would be hearsay.
 
2013-06-06 11:36:25 AM

wetrat: What makes the anecdote "obviously false"?


The lack of detail (place, names, year), the use of an authority figure ("the captain") and the general tone of writing. If you can control your gag reflex, browse through "The One Minute Manager" and you'll see precisely the same style there.
 
2013-06-06 11:36:36 AM

wetrat: orbister: This article may be true, but ...It's the need to provide an obviously false anecdote rather than trusting readers with the facts which grates.

What makes the anecdote "obviously false"? I was a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer at a large waterpark for years, and I have definitely made this rescue at least 2 or 3 times in the wave pool. Right down to yelling "move" at the oblivious parents/friends to get to the drowning person; sometimes when it was crowded enough I would have to push my way through. Even if this exact anecdote is fabricated, it is representative of rescues that happen quite frequently. Ask any lifeguard who has worked at a beach or waterpark (not necessarily your local pool where they sit around tanning and twirling their whistles) and they will have similar stories.

/don't rely on the buddy system: swim near a lifeguard. Your buddy doesn't know what drowning looks like or how to rescue you if you are really drowning (not just distressed).
//getting a kick, etc....


Wave pools are terrifying, even more so when they are crowded.  I'm a good/decent swimmer and swim in Lakes Erie and Ontario regularly, even with big waves.  Wave pools are drowning machines, or at least that's how they've felt to me the two or three times I've ventured in.
 
2013-06-06 11:53:41 AM
Thinning the herd. Nothing wrong with that
 
2013-06-06 12:37:28 PM

TheGogmagog: ArcadianRefugee: Ah. That's the one thing that's great about the news: even if you somehow didn't know what time of year it was, you could tell by the articles they recycle.

(Here's the link to the 2010 Fark article.)

Cicadas...drowning...what's next? Oh! Firework safety tips (immediately followed by a slew of articles about the dumbasses who still don't know them).

As recycled stories go, this one is one I don't mind seeing each year.   I suppose you don't like people pointing out not to shake a child either.  These aren't intuitive things.


My Dad biatches about repetitive safety stories every year.  I always mention that there are new generations with every year who might not have gotten the message!
 
2013-06-06 02:32:35 PM

orbister: wetrat: What makes the anecdote "obviously false"?

The lack of detail (place, names, year), the use of an authority figure ("the captain") and the general tone of writing. If you can control your gag reflex, browse through "The One Minute Manager" and you'll see precisely the same style there.


I mean, I get what you're saying-- it's probably not written based on one specific incident. But my point was that I had some rescues like that (and I couldn't even begin to tell you names or year) and knew lots of other guards who did as well. So it's a true story in the sense that the events described in the story have happened (and unfortunately continue to happen).
 
2013-06-06 02:38:46 PM

Civchic: wetrat: orbister: This article may be true, but ...It's the need to provide an obviously false anecdote rather than trusting readers with the facts which grates.

What makes the anecdote "obviously false"? I was a lifeguard and lifeguard trainer at a large waterpark for years, and I have definitely made this rescue at least 2 or 3 times in the wave pool. Right down to yelling "move" at the oblivious parents/friends to get to the drowning person; sometimes when it was crowded enough I would have to push my way through. Even if this exact anecdote is fabricated, it is representative of rescues that happen quite frequently. Ask any lifeguard who has worked at a beach or waterpark (not necessarily your local pool where they sit around tanning and twirling their whistles) and they will have similar stories.

/don't rely on the buddy system: swim near a lifeguard. Your buddy doesn't know what drowning looks like or how to rescue you if you are really drowning (not just distressed).
//getting a kick, etc....

Wave pools are terrifying, even more so when they are crowded.  I'm a good/decent swimmer and swim in Lakes Erie and Ontario regularly, even with big waves.  Wave pools are drowning machines, or at least that's how they've felt to me the two or three times I've ventured in.


I never really understood the appeal of a wave pool, especially after working there. I prefer the beach with real waves. However, the one thing that should reassure you is that unlike the beach, wave pools have a stop button. We used it quite proactively-- often the waves would come on and we would get several distressed swimmers who had overestimated their abilities. Rather than wait until we had to rescue them we would sometimes stop the waves for a minute and let everyone get back to the shallow end. Ultimately, the wave pool was a giant PITA because you had massive crowds of people, compared with say guarding the end of a water slide where just one person comes out at a time.

But I do have lots of wave pool stories, like the time I rescued a guy who was so drunk he couldn't walk afterward (how the heck did he get INTO the deep end, I'll never know).
 
2013-06-07 05:28:48 AM

TheGogmagog: thamike: ...

Yeah, none of this actually happened to anyone in particular.

/but thanks for letting us know that drowning usually doesn't involve a lot splashing and hand waving and alternating shaky-cam cut-to wide shot of negligent beachfolk. Now we know.

[cdn3.sbnation.com image 290x272]

Here is the original,  http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154a/  I don't see any indication that the story is fabricated, though it would be hearsay.


It's the same article, written by the same person, in the exact same way.
 
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