Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/First aid/Non-swimming rescue

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Unless you have been trained to properly do so, avoid swimming to the assistance of a person who is drowning. A drowning non-swimmer is typically in a panic, and may grab onto anyone or anything he can reach in an effort to support their airway above the surface of the water. If the victim submerges the rescuer, the rescuer's life is endangered and the original victim has nobody to assist them.

Instead of entering the water, do one of the following:

  • Talk the victim in; coach them to kick their legs
  • Throw life ring, life jacket, or some other flotation device to the victim
  • Reach an item such as a rope, pole, oar, or paddle to the victim, and once the victim grabs it, pull them in
  • Wade into shallow water attempt the above
  • Row out to the victim in a boat, or use powered craft if possible; try the above from in the boat