How to tell if someone is drowning and how to help.

How to Tell If Someone is Drowning and How to Help


Swimming is one of the greatest activities and pastimes for people of all ages during the spring and summer seasons. However, like with all good things, risks are still a factor. One of the major ones is drowning. It is important to emphasize these risks because this can happen to just about anyone, no matter the age or skill level.  Many water-related fears result because of the fear of drowning. And for good reason. Drowning can happen incredibly quickly and unexpectedly, making it crucial to catch the signs as soon as they come up.


Step1: Determining whether someone is drowning or not

Swimming in the ocean with wild currents and harsh waves can cause a multitude of problems so if you no longer hear your friend or child calling your name and they’ve gone underwater, this is probably a sign that they are in trouble. Other signs include thrashing or panicking movements while their heads bobs above and under the water. These signs should immediately signal you to action. 


Floating across the surface might be yet another sign. If there’s very little to no movement and they are struggling for a breath, again it is another signal for help. Sometimes it might not be as obvious, but taking precautions is always safer and alert is always the better option. 


Step 2: Getting the Necessary Help

If you are at the beach and realize a drowning victim, the best person to call may very well be the lifeguard on duty. One thing you need to be aware of is you don’t want to put yourself in danger either. Getting close to a drowning victim who is struggling for air may result in them latching onto you and pulling you under the surface with them. If there is no lifeguard in sight, the next thing you should do is…


Check your surroundings


In times of panic, try to stay calm and be observant of your surroundings. If you are on a beach or in a pool, you may have access to a flotation device that you can throw to the victim and have them grab onto to get to safety. If there are people around, call for someone to call 911. The quicker you have more knowledgeable personnel arrive, the better the outcome will be. 


Simple steps if you decide to jump in yourself 


If you are alone or no one is around to get additional help AND there is no access to a floatation device to use, there is a certain method for keeping both you and the victim safe while bringing them to shore or solid ground. This is best done if you are personally confident in your swimming capabilities. Simple grab under their arms and use your legs to swim to safety. This is a good way to ensure you don’t get dragged under the water with them if they are struggling and kicking for air. Once you get to shore you must administer first aid and rescue breathing if you see them struggling for air, or make sure there is someone around that does. Please remember that drowning is known as the silent killer in the swim world, so stay aware and be safe out there! 


Ensuring your children’s safety as the host of pool parties or family gatherings


We know it can be difficult to pay attention to all the kids in the pool and have nice conversations with other adults or prepare the food. So for your safety and the children, Safety 1st Aquatics offers one day lifeguarding services for small events just like these! Not only will you be able to relax and enjoy the gatherings of friends and family, but you will also be at ease knowing your child’s safety is in good hands. 


For more of what we offer, check us out at


Swimming is one of the best activities to do during a hot summer day or to simply kick back and relax. But a reminder that there are still risks and they must be taken seriously. If you are a parent and want to ensure your child’s future safety, please check out the swim lessons we offer and don’t let them become a statistic of one of the many drowning cases we experience every year. 


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