Waco: Signs Of Drowning May Not Be What You Think

By: Nichole Perez Email
By: Nichole Perez Email

WACO (June 14, 2013) -- Most people think the normal signs of drowning are flailing arms, splashing water, and panicked cries for help.

Certified lifeguards are saying, usually that's not the case.

They say when someone is drowning, their body is vertical with their head tilted back.

The person's feet have little to no kick at all and their hands are paddling next to them usually not reaching above the surface of the water.

They're also not making any forward progress nor are they making any noise.

"In the guard setting we say when you don't hear anything is when you need to be nervous," says Evan Bates, Aquatics Director at the YMCA of Central Texas.

Water is being splashed into the person's mouth so they are chocking to try to remove the water from their lungs and airway.

"All it takes is 20 to 60 seconds for a drowning to happen," says Bates.

He also says national studies state with as little as one formal 45 minute swimming lesson, it can reduce a drowning related accident by up to 80 percent.

Bates says, more than 3,500 drowning related deaths happen in the United States each year.

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