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Save a Drowning Person
You're at the lake with your friends and family. You're grilling some tasty man burgers and taking in the beautiful sunny day. As you gaze over the water, you see a man thrashing his arms around and gasping for air. It's time to get your David Hasselhoff on and save this drowning person. Your golden brown hairy chest was made for a moment like this. You start to run towards the lake.
Unfortunately, since you're at the lake and not the ocean, your fantasy of being the Hoff ends here. Contrary to what you see on television and in movies, your best move is not to dash into the water after the person. Drowning people aren't only a danger to themselves; they're a danger to the people rescuing them, too. Panicked and flailing about, they can pull and push you under when you try to help. For more info check: man stuff
If the person is near the shore or you're in a boat, try these two methods first:
1. Pull the person to safety with a stick. Grab a long tree limb or pole and extend it out to the victim. Tell them to grab on. Pull them to safety.
2. Throw an object out to them attached to a rope. If you're near a body of water, it's always good to have a safety ring close by. If you don't have one, improvise by tying a rope to an object and throwing it out to the person.
Figure 3.9 Save a drowning person by throwing an object out to them attached to a rope.
If the person is too far away to rescue with either of these methods, you'll need to get in the water to save them. When rescuing a person from the water, take these precautions to avoid getting drowned yourself.
1. Calm the person down. As you approach the person, talk to them and let them know that everything is going to be fine. It makes getting them out of the water much easier.
2. If you have a floatation device and the victim is simply too far off for you to throw it from shore, swim out close enough to be able to toss it to them. If the floating object is tethered to a rope, pull them to shore. If not, simply have them grab on.
3. Approach the person from the back. You want to be out of the reach of the victim's arms and legs. As mentioned above, your victim will probably try to grab on to you and thus will pull you down to the murky depths. So approach the person from behind and wrap your arm around his chest. Keep his head above the water.
4. If the victim does try to pull you down, ignore your instinct to fight it and instead sink and/or swim downward on purpose. The victim's primal instinct to stay above water will kick in, and he'll release you.
5. Swim back to safety. Using your free arm, swim back to safety. Tell your victim to stay calm and float on his back.
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