Sometimes you will see someone drowning when you least expect it. Not all the time will you have the floatation with you. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t save someone.
You can save someone from drowning without a floatation. But you must be a good swimmer before attempting this life-saving exercise. If you’re an average swimmer or worse, it would be difficult to save anyone without floatation. Attempting it would endanger the lives of both of you.
Here’s a simple guide to save someone from drowning without floatation.
Step 1: Alert Everyone Around You Before You Begin The Rescue Exercise
Everything can go wrong when you’re rescuing anyone from drowning. This is especially true if the person you’re going to rescue is not a good swimmer.
So, alert people around you before you jump into the waters for extra caution. They will be your eyes. Just in case it gets overwhelming for you, they might also jump into the waters or call for emergency rescue services.
It’s a safety measure that you can’t afford to skip. So, before attempting the rescue, just alert the people around you. Shouting is enough. And people will know what you’re up to.
Step 2: Immobilise the Drowning Person
It’s difficult to rescue anyone trying to fight for their life. Their efforts and panic will make the rescue difficult. And when they hold on to you when they are fighting, they will drag you down to the water too. That’s why it’s critical to start by immobilizing them.
The natural instinct of anyone drowning is to jump and hold on to you. This makes it difficult for you to support them and swim simultaneously. If you’re not careful, they will drown you, also.
So, when you jump into the water, go under them. Ensure they don’t have access to you. They shouldn’t hold on to you in any way. If they are holding you already, take them down. Drown them further so that they can release you. And once they stop holding on to you, then you can go under them. And hold them from their back.
Step 3: Drag them As You Kick Back
Once you are under the drowning person, drag them. Kick back as you drag them. Also, ensure their head is raised above the water. They will start breathing properly, and it will be easy for them to relax as you drag them.
It’s important to first float the drowning person before dragging them. This is because it’s easy to haul them to safety when they are floating. If they are still trying to save themselves, tell them to stop it. If they don’t stop struggling, it’s advisable to tilt them and dip their face into the water. The fear of drowning again will make them corporate. Every time they struggle and drag you down, just tilt them a little bit. And they will definitely stop.
Step 4: Call For Help When It Gets Overwhelming
Sometimes you might do everything possible to save a drowning person. And still, you might fail to help them. Don’t push yourself beyond limits. Don’t continue struggling when you have tried everything possible and still can’t pull them out of the water. Call for help. You can raise your hands in surrender and signal other people around you to help you out.
There could be someone more experienced than you. But they won’t jump to help when you seem to be doing okay. So, all the time. When you feel like you can’t handle the rescue anymore, don’t hesitate to call for help.
And don’t wait until it’s too late. You don’t want to end up with two people who need rescuing.
Step 5: Check the Condition Of the Rescued Person
After you have successfully pulled the drowning person from the water, the next thing is to assess their condition. This will determine if they will need to further medical attention.
If the person you have pulled from the water is responsive and looking okay, you don’t have to do anything. But if they are unresponsive, take the following quick steps to help them.
- Check their breathing
Hold them and tilt their head back. Feel, listen, and look at their breathing patterns. If the breathing is very slow or no breathing is observed, conduct a further assessment.
- Call Emergency Line
If you notice someone having difficulty breathing, call 999 for emergency help. Do this immediately before giving them further help.
- Perform The Five Rescue Breaths
Tilt their head to face upward. Then seal their mouth with your mouth. Pinch their nose tightly and blow hair through their mouth. Repeat this process five times. But you don’t have to do it up to the fifth round. If you notice their breathing coming back to normal, you can stop. But if, after the fifth round still, nothing is happening, then you can proceed to offer other intervention.
- Chest Compressions
Push firmly around the middle of their chest and then release. Repeat this process 30 times until you notice them responding. And if they don’t respond, then proceed with the next step.
- Combine Rescue Breaths and Chest Compressions
Give two rescue breaths and repeat the 30 chest compressions. Do this until the patient becomes responsive. Continue doing it until the rescue team arrives.
- Keep them Warm and Still
When the casualty starts breathing normally, the next step is to treat the hypothermia. This is a condition in which the body loses more heat than it produces. And it’s caused by overstaying in the water or cold temperatures.
So, to help the patient, keep them as dry as possible. Cover them with warm clothing and allow them to regain the lost heat.
Useful Life Hack
You never know when you might be needed to save a drowning person. And that’s why it’s important to learn some life-saving skills. You don’t have to be a lifeguard to learn how to save a drowning person. You can train yourself and always be ready.
Start by learning how to swim. Perfect your swimming skills and be good at it. Learn how to do backflips and kicks. This will even help you build the stamina needed to do backflip swimming when rescuing a drowning person.
Rescuing a person requires skills and strength. You can start learning and practising it early enough. You can do this by doing rescue drills with your friends when you’re swimming. Try to hold someone on the back and pull them. And when you’re successful with that, you can make it more difficult by acting as if someone is drowning. This will give you perfect skills and experience that you can use whenever you realize someone is drowning.
Saving someone from drowning without floatation is risky. Only attempt it if you’re a good swimmer. Otherwise, you would be risking your life. But if you can swim properly, follow all the steps listed above. Notify people around you about your mission. And always remember to call out for help when the rescue mission becomes overwhelming. Never push yourself beyond your limits. You might end up losing your life.