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Old 12th June 2018, 08:53 PM   #1
Bob001
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Drowning doesn't look like drowning.

The terrible tragedy of Bode Miller's baby is a reminder that -- contrary to popular perception -- people who are drowning often slip quietly under the water unnoticed.
Quote:
The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health...a=gdpr-consent

Stay alert around the water.

Last edited by Bob001; 12th June 2018 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 13th June 2018, 12:37 AM   #2
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I find that public safety message on TV to be particularly horrifying.

"In a few seconds, I'm going to drown."
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Old 13th June 2018, 01:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
The terrible tragedy of Bode Miller's baby is a reminder that -- contrary to popular perception -- people who are drowning often slip quietly under the water unnoticed.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health...a=gdpr-consent

Stay alert around the water.
It is also worth remembering young children can drown in a few inches of water. Even shallow garden water features can be fatal. All domestic swimming pools should be kept in a childproof container (fencing).
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Old 13th June 2018, 06:27 AM   #4
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This is an interesting demonstration. Play 'spot the drowning simmer'. I failed.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgCVJx_100I
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Old 13th June 2018, 07:04 AM   #5
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Heh. Saw it. That said, the field seemed huge. An exhausting task.
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Old 13th June 2018, 07:28 AM   #6
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anecdotally - I nearly drowned when I was about 5 (iirc), went down to the beach in the morning with my mum, she was setting up towels and stuff while I grabbed the lilo (inflatable mattress), took it in the sea, got out of my depth, fell off the lilo and started to drown. I splashed and waved and I believe I shouted for help, and in between dips under the water and the vague sense of 'uh oh, I might have messed up here' I started to see a line of people coming out from the shore to save my life. My poor mother must have been beating herself up for ages after that, but I don't really blame her (although I wouldn't argue against a degree of negligence in this case not keeping a closer eye on a kid who can't swim but likes to go in the sea straight away at the beach). She did then insist I immediately started swimming lessons after the holiday (and iirc made me keep inflatable armbands on in the water for the rest of it)

ETA: having read the article now I do recognise the signs it is talking about - it was difficult to impossible to actually wave or cry for help effectively as I kept going under, I think by the time someone actually reached me I was fully in past the 'distress' stage and into the 'drowning' stage. It is a very odd memory (or memory of a memory), kinda like trying to remember what it was like to try to ride a bike before you'd learnt to balance it (i.e. the first time you take off the stabilisers)
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Old 13th June 2018, 08:18 AM   #7
dann
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Play 'spot the drowning simmer'. I failed.

Me too.
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Old 13th June 2018, 09:00 AM   #8
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I only remember being pulled under by a rip current one time. Had nice sand burns on my chest from dragging on the bottom. I might of accidentally did the right thing and just focused on holding my breath and relaxing. Fortunately the current released me or took me to the surface long enough to swim out of it.

If it hadn’t, I’m fairly certain no one would have witnessed any struggle. One second he’s there, the next he’s gone. It didn’t last long as I still don’t carry any anxiety about it at all. It’s just in hindsight I can see how precarious the situation might have actually been.
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Old 13th June 2018, 09:20 AM   #9
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by Spock Jenkins View Post
I only remember being pulled under by a rip current one time.
Rip currents don't pull people underwater.
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Old 13th June 2018, 10:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Rip currents don't pull people underwater.
People often confuse rip currents and undertows. Undertows can pull you down, but they won't hold you underwater.

I got caught in a rip current once. Even though I grew up along the coast and was well aware of what I should have done, I started to panic. Then someone just grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the current.

When my brother came close to drowning, he did not yell or splash. It is fortunate that someone else saw him and that they yelled.

Last edited by jadebox; 13th June 2018 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 13th June 2018, 10:56 AM   #11
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There's another recent case of a young boy who noticed there were only five people in the pool instead of six. The sixth was on the bottom, the kid rescued him. No splashing, yelling, or anything; just slipped under the surface.
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Old 13th June 2018, 11:28 AM   #12
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
People often confuse rip currents and undertows. Undertows can pull you down, but they won't hold you underwater.
There is no "undertow" current which pulls you underwater. It is a longstanding myth.
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Old 13th June 2018, 11:52 AM   #13
p0lka
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This is an interesting demonstration. Play 'spot the drowning simmer'. I failed.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgCVJx_100I
I actually did spot it before the life guard blew his whistle, but only because i remember being in that position when i was a kid and pushing off against the ground trying to get my head above water.
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Old 13th June 2018, 11:58 AM   #14
jadebox
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There is no "undertow" current which pulls you underwater. It is a longstanding myth.
Sorry. Pedantry isn't my style. An undertow can't pull you underwater. But, an undertow can knock you down so that you end up underwater (especially if you are small and a wave is coming in at the same time). It can't, however, hold you underwater.
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Old 13th June 2018, 09:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Rip currents don't pull people underwater.
Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There is no "undertow" current which pulls you underwater. It is a longstanding myth.

This is not helpful.

There is a reason why snopes goes into detail about myths and does not just type "FALSE, THIS IS A MYTH" and end it there.
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Old 14th June 2018, 09:04 AM   #16
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
This is not helpful.

There is a reason why snopes goes into detail about myths and does not just type "FALSE, THIS IS A MYTH" and end it there.
Both rip currents and undertow currents flow horizontally away from the shoreline or beach and out towards open water. They do not pull a person underwater because they are not flowing vertically downwards. That would only happen in the very rare and unusual occurrence of a vortex (whirlpool).
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Old 14th June 2018, 11:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Both rip currents and undertow currents flow horizontally away from the shoreline or beach and out towards open water. They do not pull a person underwater because they are not flowing vertically downwards. That would only happen in the very rare and unusual occurrence of a vortex (whirlpool).
Correct.

Rip Current should be used exclusively as the dangerous current . Undertow is a relatively innocuous current.

False uses of undertow:

Standing in the surf and the rip current starts pulling your legs, the sand starts to give away and you get knocked down into the rip current. This is sometimes mistaken for 'undertow'

The whirlpools and vortexes in large rivers, or rivermouths that can pull someone downward. This is often called 'undertow' but it is a vortex or whirlpool.
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Old 15th June 2018, 02:40 AM   #18
Roboramma
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During my recent trip to Taiwan my friends and I found a house on AirBnb with a private beach. It was cool, but the water was pretty rough there (and the beach is just a bunch of stones). I went for a swim in the pacific and got caught in a rip current. I started trying to swim back to shore and found I was getting further and further away, at which point I felt a sense of panic come on. But I remembered hearing that you're supposed to swim at an angle to the shore in that situation so I did that and ended up back on the beach. That was a relief.

I stayed out of the water after that...
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Old 15th June 2018, 09:44 AM   #19
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I was a lifeguard for thirty years. Friends could never understand how when I came home from work I was so exhausted. "You just sit there and watch people swim" was their idea of my day at work. It takes a lot of effort to sit in a loud environment and concentrate on everything you see, without focusing on any one thing. One of the large changes in the industry over the time I worked was instituting regular breaks for guards away from the noise and chaos, as it became a documented issue that drownings that happened with guards on duty was due to fatigue from sitting and watching the water for too long without breaks. When I started out it was normal to spend 3-4 hours on duty without a break, the standard now is a 15 minute break every hour to prevent fatigue and keep guards focused when they are on duty watching the water.

As an aside, best thing to do in a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore until out of the rip current. Swimming diagonally wastes energy as any effort expended towards the shore is wasted until you get out of the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you stop getting pulled out, then swim into shore.
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Old 15th June 2018, 11:48 AM   #20
quadraginta
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This is an interesting demonstration. Play 'spot the drowning simmer'. I failed.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgCVJx_100I

I didn't but I had an unfair advantage. I've done exactly that job. Probably the most nerve-racking work I've ever done.

Worse still was when I was lifeguard for a YCC camp. City kids, most of whom didn't swim very well (if at all), spending their day working forestry projects, and coming back to swim in a section of WV mountain stream I had roped off with a float platform tied to the shore and a rope swing.

The water was less than transparent, so if someone went down I couldn't see them anymore. It was also cold, even when the ambient air temp was in the 90s (F).

I used a triple buddy system, and told them if I blew my whistle and they couldn't hold up both their buddies' hands then they were out of the water. I gave swimming lessons, and no one who hadn't passed them to my satisfaction was allowed farther away from shore than waist deep.

I still had to go in after someone every week or so. Usually hypothermia, which is the worst, because they do absolutely nothing as they go down. Quiet, and quick.

In river water, with a current.

I gave up lifeguarding after that. After every time I pulled someone out I was left thinking about how close a call it had been, that thirty seconds or so might have meant that I would have lost them. Basically I lost my nerve. Even the thought of going back to something as controlled and clean as a pool like in that video was more than I wanted to deal with.
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