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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lessons learned from Drown Proofing

Over the last week I have been away from the net assisting my son's class in learning the fine art of not sinking to the bottom of the Bay, should they unexpectedly find themselves in a waterborne emergency. It was an interesting class. Even though several of the kids could not swim they left the lessons armed with the ability to stay afloat long enough to get rescued.

From the side lines, where I worked as an assistant, I was able to pick up a few gems that I thought I'd share with you all.
  • Don't engage in water borne activities if you can't swim. Seems like logic to me.
  • After it's all said and done, the people with a personal floatation device on, stay above water, longer than every other method or technique used.
  • Treading water burns a tremedous amount of energy.
  • If you happen to have on the right type of clothes, you may be able to inflate them enough to float.
  • Cold water can quickly suck the heat right out of your body. Try to keep as much of your body out of the water as possible.
  • If you are in the water with a group of people you should all huddle together in a tight circle. This will enable you to save energy and conserve heat.
  • Place the injured or weak in the center of the circle to offer them more protection and assistance.
  • If alone, Survival floating or the dead mans float is an excellent way to conserve energy. Simply lie, face down in the water and float. Raise your head out of the water for each breath. Swim when you can and rest using this technique when your tired.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
Overall this was an excellent course and I am glad it is a requirred subject taught through our public school system. Finally, they've done something right. We live in an area that is literally covered with large bodies of water and I am thankfull that my boy has a foundation on which he can rest his life, while in the water.

Lastly, I thought I'd share a few thoughts of my own.
  • Avoid the water, when at all possible, when the temperatures are such that it makes survival, near impossible.
  • Always use the proper safety equipment.
  • Always use a PFD.
  • If you can't swim, you don't belong on the water.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages while on the water.
  • Prepare for the worst, and pray it don't happen.

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