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View Full Version : 6 Teens Drown in Louisiana's Red River


Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 09:28 AM
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/6-teens-fall-into-sinkhole-drown-in-louisianas-red-river/19578644


"None of us could swim," said Robinson, 38. "They were yelling 'help me, help me. Somebody please help me.' It was nothing I could do but watch them drown one by one."

The importance of knowing how to swim. This type of thing absolutely disgusts me. The irresponsibility of the parents is mind boggling. If you ask me, parents that take their kids to a river and NO ONE knows how to swim is child endangerment. All these kids did was step off of a shallow part of a river into a deeper part. I have done that numerous times. It surprises you, but of course you just simply start swimming. None of these kids knew how to swim, so they panicked, and eventually drowned as the parents looked on helpless because they couldn't swim either. A tragedy, but hopefully it will open up some ignorant parents eyes.

Cainkane1
3rd August 2010, 09:47 AM
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/6-teens-fall-into-sinkhole-drown-in-louisianas-red-river/19578644



The importance of knowing how to swim. This type of thing absolutely disgusts me. The irresponsibility of the parents is mind boggling. If you ask me, parents that take their kids to a river and NO ONE knows how to swim is child endangerment. All these kids did was step off of a shallow part of a river into a deeper part. I have done that numerous times. It surprises you, but of course you just simply start swimming. None of these kids knew how to swim, so they panicked, and eventually drowned as the parents looked on helpless because they couldn't swim either. A tragedy, but hopefully it will open up some ignorant parents eyes.
They could have also been wearing water wings. This is especially essention to people who can't swim. A water buoy should have been there also.

barium
3rd August 2010, 09:58 AM
This is why swimming and first aid are part of the sports curriculum in schools around here. This shouldn't have to happen, seriously.

Skeptic Guy
3rd August 2010, 10:04 AM
I wouldn't even rely on waterwings. They can be taken off or fall off and then you're in trouble. I am a firm believer that you shouldn't be anywhere near water over your head unless you can swim.

Mark6
3rd August 2010, 10:34 AM
I find this mind-boggling. I can think of only TWO adults I personally know who can't swim. I do not know a single teenager who can't swim. Where do you even FIND such group?

I suppose it is possible in an inner city with no seashore, rivers or pools, and it is possible in mountains, but these people live in Louisiana near a river!

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 10:48 AM
I find this mind-boggling. I can think of only TWO adults I personally know who can't swim. I do not know a single teenager who can't swim. Where do you even FIND such group?

I suppose it is possible in an inner city with no seashore, rivers or pools, and it is possible in mountains, but these people live in Louisiana near a river!

I hate to say it, but its crazy how stereotypes tend to be true isn't it? Judging by all of the pictures I have seen, all of those people who couldn't swim appeared to be black. I have seen the stereotype play out in other situations as well. For example in basic training for the Army, we did combat water survival training. Guess who had to be in the remedial section for swimming and have little floaties on because they couldn't swim? Every single black kid in the company. There wasn't a single one who could swim. Then as a cadet we did the same training and guess what? Every single black cadet could not swim.

Anyone have any ideas as to why a lot of black people cannot swim? I can see the whole inner city thing, but living by a river? No excuse.

I Ratant
3rd August 2010, 10:57 AM
One of my freshman buddies, from Louisiana, at the AFROTC physical testing.. included a swim test.
Following instructions, jumped in the pool, and sank to the bottom.
Had to be pulled out.

Woolgatherer
3rd August 2010, 11:07 AM
Anyone have any ideas as to why a lot of black people cannot swim? I can see the whole inner city thing, but living by a river? No excuse.

Huh, that hasn't been my experience. I currently live in an area (North Carolina) with many black swimmers that swim in the local YMCA pool. I don't live in a poor area so perhaps that's the difference.

Safe-Keeper
3rd August 2010, 11:07 AM
At least the kids weren's wimming, but wading, not knowing there woudl be a steep drop-off. But yes, everyone should know how to swim.

There is, and has been for quite some time, a government campaign right now in Norway urging parents to teach their kids to swim. Apparently only half of the country's 10 year olds can swim. Which is fairly poor for a populace that spends as much time swimming and boating as Norsemen.

Emet
3rd August 2010, 11:16 AM
<snip>

Anyone have any ideas as to why a lot of black people cannot swim? I can see the whole inner city thing, but living by a river? No excuse.

This article is from 2008:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24411271/

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 11:20 AM
This article is from 2008:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24411271/

Interesting article. So the stereotype is indeed a fact. Obviously not ALL black people cannot swim, but a good number cannot. This is the key from the article:
Black children drown at a rate almost three times the overall rate.

So blacks drown three times more often and are a much smaller percent of the population.

Woolgatherer
3rd August 2010, 11:21 AM
"The study also found that swimming ability, regardless of race, increased in relation to parents' income and education."

ponderingturtle
3rd August 2010, 11:25 AM
So blacks drown three times more often and are a much smaller percent of the population.

That is not what that means, it means that if the average rate is 1 in 10000 children drown then in when you limit it to blacks it is then 3 in 10000.

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 11:26 AM
That is not what that means, it means that if the average rate is 1 in 10000 children drown then in when you limit it to blacks it is then 3 in 10000.

Got ya. Still not good either way you look at it.

Sir Robin Goodfellow
3rd August 2010, 11:32 AM
I know I was the only kid in my class that couldn't swim in elementary school. Every other child had taken at least some lessons. We couldn't afford lessons. Poverty was a factor for me, maybe that plays a part for some black folks as well.

I can now swim well enough to save myself, though I haven't been near water deeper than the kitchen sink in over ten years.

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 11:37 AM
I know I was the only kid in my class that couldn't swim in elementary school. Every other child had taken at least some lessons. We couldn't afford lessons. Poverty was a factor for me, maybe that plays a part for some black folks as well.

I can now swim well enough to save myself, though I haven't been near water deeper than the kitchen sink in over ten years.

I can honestly understand all of the different situations for why a person does not know how to swim. But the point needs to be made that if you do not know how to swim you have absolutely no business being near large bodies of water. This includes the pool. The point people also need to understand is that every effort should be exhausted to learn how to swim, just in case you ever find yourself in a life or death situation with water.

ponderingturtle
3rd August 2010, 11:44 AM
Got ya. Still not good either way you look at it.

OF course, it is just that the percentage of the population that is black is irrelevant.

ponderingturtle
3rd August 2010, 11:45 AM
I know I was the only kid in my class that couldn't swim in elementary school. Every other child had taken at least some lessons. We couldn't afford lessons. Poverty was a factor for me, maybe that plays a part for some black folks as well.

I can now swim well enough to save myself, though I haven't been near water deeper than the kitchen sink in over ten years.

That makes sense, but there is also a dynamic that if parents can not swim they regard swimming as dangerous and are less likely to let their kids learn as well.

pgwenthold
3rd August 2010, 11:58 AM
At least the kids weren's wimming, but wading, not knowing there woudl be a steep drop-off. But yes, everyone should know how to swim.


I want to reiterate this.

The problem is not that they couldn't swim, but they were unfamiliar with the body of water they were in.

It might depend on your definition of swimming, but, basically, I can't swim. I sink very handily. Oh, I might be able to tread water for a minute (my wife has timed it), and I can stay afloat long enough to kick to get to the side of the pool from the middle, but beyond that, I can't swim to save my life. Literally.

But given that, I am sure to know that if I am in a situation outside of that comfort zone I wear a life jacket. I wear a life jacket snorkeling in the ocean, even, because staying afloat is too much effort for me. If I am in a place where I don't know the landscape of the water, I wear a life jacket. That would include unfamiliar rivers.

If I know the danger areas, that's a different story. But the unknown is a risk I don't take.

pgwenthold
3rd August 2010, 11:59 AM
I know I was the only kid in my class that couldn't swim in elementary school. Every other child had taken at least some lessons. We couldn't afford lessons. Poverty was a factor for me, maybe that plays a part for some black folks as well.


I went to swimming lessons for 5 years and never got out of Beginners. My inability to swim is not for lack of trying or encouragement from my parents.

sinclairmcevoy
3rd August 2010, 12:00 PM
How about being a commercial fisherman and not knowing how to swim? I have met more than a couple. Can you imagine spending that much time on the water knowing if you go over then it's probably over? Mind boggling.

That story is just tragic. Mind boggling also. Watching that happen to your children, being helpless to stop it.....makes me feel like crying. Preventible, even worse.

pgwenthold
3rd August 2010, 12:01 PM
How about being a commercial fisherman and not knowing how to swim? I have met more than a couple. Can you imagine spending that much time on the water knowing if you go over then it's probably over? Mind boggling.

The only mind boggling part is that they don't wear a life preserver all the time. One would expect that one recognizes the dangers of one's job and takes the proper precautions.

Emet
3rd August 2010, 12:30 PM
Here's a more recent article:

http://www.blackpower.com/lifestyle/70-of-african-american-children-cant-swim-putting-them-at-risk-of-drowning/

sinclairmcevoy
3rd August 2010, 12:31 PM
The only mind boggling part is that they don't wear a life preserver all the time. One would expect that one recognizes the dangers of one's job and takes the proper precautions.I was shocked to learn that the people I went out with for a day of cod fishing couldn't swim. I never saw anyone on any boat wearing a life preserver. I can swim, have almost drowned twice, not a good feeling. It's like a fire fighter going into a burning house without any protective gear.

paiute
3rd August 2010, 12:51 PM
They could have also been wearing water wings. This is especially essention to people who can't swim. A water buoy should have been there also.

A spare tire will float well enough to be used as an emergency life preserver.

DavidS
3rd August 2010, 01:00 PM
I know I was the only kid in my class that couldn't swim in elementary school. Every other child had taken at least some lessons.
Me, too, except that I couldn't appeal to lack of lessons. My folks sent me to lessons in first grade, but I skipped out. They insisted on starting with floating on my back, which terrified me because my skinny little butt just sank to the bottom. Eventually, another terror made me teach myself to swim... I ran out of excuses to tell my fifth-grade friends why I wouldn't join them for diving-board bellyflops.

That's an incentive that might not come into play for members of a largely non-swimming group: Peer pressure to swim is much relieved by non-swimming peers.

Learning how to swim is a good thing of itself, but from a safety perspective it's more important to learn how to not drown. That might've been enough in the subject situation, especially if that knowledge could help keep the initial panic in check.

It was Boy Scout merit badge classes that finally made me a decent swimmer and gave me confidence around water. In particular, the swimming merit badge involved an hour-long session of what they called "drownproofing": floating (or nearly so) with minimal exertion, bobbing up only to raise your face for a breath at need. You don't cover water toward safety very fast, but you don't wear yourself out trying to go fast or breath frequently from the effort. Once you relax into the rhythm you can even semi-snooze between breaths.

Unless there's something physically holding you underwater, an unhandicapped person doesn't have to drown. Anybody with the will and very minimal training can hang on long enough to die of something else: hypothermia, starvation, dehydration, cholera, shark, gator, piranha, mocassin, old age, USO...

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 01:52 PM
Here's a more recent article:

http://www.blackpower.com/lifestyle/70-of-african-american-children-cant-swim-putting-them-at-risk-of-drowning/

Ah yes, the good old excuse of 'I don't wanna swim cause muh hurrr will get wet." I have seen that one quite a few times.

sadhatter
3rd August 2010, 02:26 PM
What in the name of sanity is someone who doesn't know how to swim doing in , or for that matter in proximity to, a river?

It makes about as much sense as not having any boxing training and going up against a professional heavyweight.

Don't have the training? Don't go somewhere it is needed.

dudalb
3rd August 2010, 02:58 PM
If you can't swim, then don't go into a River.
It's that simple.

sinclairmcevoy
3rd August 2010, 03:11 PM
If you can't swim, then don't go into a River.
It's that simple.So it would seem. And if your kids can't swim either, why in the name of *********** hell would you let them go in?

Skeptic Ginger
3rd August 2010, 03:18 PM
This is so stupid and so sad. Man, teach your kids to swim. And if you can't swim, for crying out loud, don't wade across a river.

One kid, you can see it. But 6? It's an awful example of evolution in action.

I Ratant
3rd August 2010, 03:19 PM
The spawners of the unfortunate kids aren't doing anything, other than having no regard for their get.

Skeptic Ginger
3rd August 2010, 03:21 PM
Here's a more recent article:

http://www.blackpower.com/lifestyle/70-of-african-american-children-cant-swim-putting-them-at-risk-of-drowning/
This reminds me of an interview I saw of a young American tourist who was one of only a handful of survivors out of hundreds of fatalities on an Indonesian ferry that capsized. She said the vast majority of Indonesians never learn to swim.

Mind boggling.

And it would appear that the lack of any adult swimmers in the group also contributed here. "None of us could swim," said Robinson, 38. "They were yelling 'Help me! Help me! Somebody please help me!' It was nothing I could do but watch them drown one by one."You'd think they might have found something to throw in the water that the kids could hold on to.

Darth Rotor
3rd August 2010, 03:31 PM
You'd think they might have found something to throw in the water that the kids could hold on to.
That was my first reaction to the story, but then I considered: if you haven't been swimming, and thus learned some basic water safety, what is the chance that your default idea when you see someone in trouble in the water is to find something for them to grab on to? Apparently, it is less than 100%.

I was taught "Reach Throw Row Go" in swimming and then life saving classes ... but if I had never been to those classes, would that have been what popped into my mind if I saw a horrific situation unfold in front of me?

What training and basis would I have for problem solving in a panic/stress situation? These folks didn't have it, not training, not education, which is probably why they went to the river with non swimming kids, as non swimming adults, and had no plan for problems ... lack of education and training, both.

How very sad. This story made me weep by the time I was done with it. Took me a bit to decide to respond to the thread.

DR

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 03:31 PM
This reminds me of an interview I saw of a young American tourist who was one of only a handful of survivors out of hundreds of fatalities on an Indonesian ferry that capsized. She said the vast majority of Indonesians never learn to swim.

Mind boggling.

And it would appear that the lack of any adult swimmers in the group also contributed here. You'd think they might have found something to throw in the water that the kids could hold on to.

You would like to think that they exercised every option available to them to save their kids, but judging by their common sense level, they probably just stood around and screamed.

applecorped
3rd August 2010, 03:50 PM
Condolences to the family and their friends. For the rest of you

:jaw-dropp

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 04:02 PM
Condolences to the family and their friends. For the rest of you

:jaw-dropp
Yes anyone can sit there and give condolences all day long. But that won't bring anyone back or save any lives in the future. What WILL save lives is people becoming aware of what went wrong and finding solutions on how to fix it. I feel for the families, don't get me wrong. Their lives will never be the same. But the irresponsibility of these parents must be identified, so others may learn from their mistakes and something like this never happens again.

MG1962
3rd August 2010, 04:41 PM
One kid, you can see it. But 6? It's an awful example of evolution in action.

Thats an interest observation. As I was growing up, my dad would take me to various rivers to go swimming. before setting foot in the water he would make me spend 10 minutes reading the river. Then when I missed half the stuff I should have seen, he would teach me those elements.

So although there are thousands way to die. I will never be suprised by a river

Schrodinger's Cat
3rd August 2010, 05:09 PM
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/6-teens-fall-into-sinkhole-drown-in-louisianas-red-river/19578644



The importance of knowing how to swim. This type of thing absolutely disgusts me. The irresponsibility of the parents is mind boggling. If you ask me, parents that take their kids to a river and NO ONE knows how to swim is child endangerment. All these kids did was step off of a shallow part of a river into a deeper part. I have done that numerous times. It surprises you, but of course you just simply start swimming. None of these kids knew how to swim, so they panicked, and eventually drowned as the parents looked on helpless because they couldn't swim either. A tragedy, but hopefully it will open up some ignorant parents eyes.

I agree. Allowing children who cannot swim unattended in a body of water, especially when no one else supervising them is capable of swimming, is child endangerment in my book. Though, despite my anger at the situation, I still feel horrible for the families. As you said, hopefully this can serve as a lesson to others. Just a tragic, tragic story.

You would like to think that they exercised every option available to them to save their kids, but judging by their common sense level, they probably just stood around and screamed.

It does seem that way:

"None of us could swim," said Robinson, 38. "They were yelling 'Help me! Help me! Somebody please help me!' It was nothing I could do but watch them drown one by one."

applecorped
3rd August 2010, 05:09 PM
Yes anyone can sit there and give condolences all day long. But that won't bring anyone back or save any lives in the future. What WILL save lives is people becoming aware of what went wrong and finding solutions on how to fix it. I feel for the families, don't get me wrong. Their lives will never be the same. But the irresponsibility of these parents must be identified, so others may learn from their mistakes and something like this never happens again.

Thank you for those kind words.

Darth Rotor
3rd August 2010, 07:12 PM
Thank you for those kind words.
But the irresponsibility of these parents must be identified, so others may learn from their mistakes and something like this never happens again.
But it will happen again, Quad. That is part of why I wept.

The most important lesson learned is how few lessons are really learned. :(

Emet
3rd August 2010, 08:13 PM
But it will happen again, Quad. That is part of why I wept.

The most important lesson learned is how few lessons are really learned. :(

Well, according to the second article, a small effort to educate is underway this summer:

The end goal is to create real solutions designed to ensure children are water safe, especially minority youth who are at a higher risk for drowning. The USA Swimming Foundation, African American Olympic gold medalist swimmer Cullen Jones and Make a Splash are teaming up again this summer to educate parents and kids about the importance of learning to swim and the resources available for families in need, and will utilize the information from the findings as they travel the country as part of a six city event series. Make a Splash is the national water safety initiative created by the USA Swimming Foundation in an effort to provide access to swim lessons at low or no cost for children across the country.

Perhaps this horrific tragedy will encourage this organization to do more...

You can donate directly to their "Make a Splash-- Sponsor a Swim Lesson" (e-mail address provided to contact them):

https://swimfoundation.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=234

Furcifer
3rd August 2010, 09:04 PM
I find this mind-boggling. I can think of only TWO adults I personally know who can't swim. I do not know a single teenager who can't swim. Where do you even FIND such group?

I suppose it is possible in an inner city with no seashore, rivers or pools, and it is possible in mountains, but these people live in Louisiana near a river!

I live in Ontario and I don't think there's another place on Earth with as much access to swimming, especially freshwater.

This summer has seen a bizarre rise in drowning deaths. We've had 56 in Ontario since May 1st. Granted it's been hot and more people are going to the beaches, but it's not in proportion to the number of drownings.

I honestly believe this is in part due to the number of kids that don't get outside anymore. They spend far too much time indoors playing on computers.

When I was a kid just about everyone took swimming lessons at some point. Maybe not to the level of Lifeguard, but something to get them familiar with water.

On top of that there were more recreational pools. These have slowly been replaced with water parks most likely due to liability concerns. They have little or no "pool" to speak of, just slides and fountains.

It doesn't seem plausible that this would suddenly create this dramatic rise in drowning deaths, but there seems to be little else to explain this sudden increase. It's so bad they announced a Chiefs Cornoner's investigation into the matter a few weeks ago.

slingblade
3rd August 2010, 09:18 PM
If you can't swim, stay out of the water. If you want to go wading, go where you can easily see the bottom. Since flotation devices can fail, just stay out of the water until after you've had swimming lessons and know how. Even then, you could drown, but you have a better chance.

None of those kids had any chance at all.

Schrodinger's Cat
3rd August 2010, 09:22 PM
This is sort of a strange thing. In the last few weeks in Massachusetts there have been two incidents of twin girls both drowning in pools, a pair of 2 year olds and a pair of 4 year olds.

Skeptic Ginger
3rd August 2010, 09:34 PM
Thats an interest observation. As I was growing up, my dad would take me to various rivers to go swimming. before setting foot in the water he would make me spend 10 minutes reading the river. Then when I missed half the stuff I should have seen, he would teach me those elements.

So although there are thousands way to die. I will never be suprised by a riverHere in the WA state, people drown in our rivers and lakes EVERY SINGLE YEAR. You woud think people would learn, but then the next fool comes along.

I had a roommate in college whose boyfriend drowned one day. She said he just swam out in the lake, got tired and went under. It was really bizarre.

And one of the women I was in nursing school with was at the ocean when her husband got washed off a rock by a wave and drowned. That was sad.

When my son was younger and not the best swimmer, their class went out in a boat on the Sound. I went out and bought him a life vest that looked like a regular denim vest so he just looked like he had a warm vest on. I wasn't about to rely on some teachers trying to get life vests on a bunch of kids if anything sudden happened. And they weren't having the kids keep the vests on because it was a fairly large boat. By getting a vest that wasn't noticeable, he wasn't embarrassed having a Mom make him wear a vest when no one else had one on.

Pardalis
3rd August 2010, 09:39 PM
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/6-teens-fall-into-sinkhole-drown-in-louisianas-red-river/19578644



The importance of knowing how to swim. This type of thing absolutely disgusts me. The irresponsibility of the parents is mind boggling. If you ask me, parents that take their kids to a river and NO ONE knows how to swim is child endangerment. All these kids did was step off of a shallow part of a river into a deeper part. I have done that numerous times. It surprises you, but of course you just simply start swimming. None of these kids knew how to swim, so they panicked, and eventually drowned as the parents looked on helpless because they couldn't swim either. A tragedy, but hopefully it will open up some ignorant parents eyes.

I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning, and won't necessarily help save someone from drowning, people who dive to save someone often get dragged down and drown as well. Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers.

Swimming aids and throwing them a rope or something that floats is what he seemed to think is most important.

I Ratant
3rd August 2010, 09:49 PM
When I was 3 or so, I fell into a pool, and got myself out!
I was found lying under a bush, near the pool.
I do recall walking underwater to the steps... but that was 69 years ago.

Redtail
3rd August 2010, 09:54 PM
In my experience, this is a perfect example of a stereotype reinforcing itself. When I was five I went to a swim class so I could get the wrist band that would allow me to go to the deep end in the public pools. My parents had already taught me so I could swim just fine. I realized after several classes that the only kids that were regulated to holding onto the wall were the black kids. I wasn't because I "passed", that is until my dad (who unlike mom & me didn't pass for white) brought me to class and the teachers realized I was part black so I suddenly had to hold onto the wall too. I whined about it (what? I was 5...) and dad asked why I wasn't allowed to swim. He got some crazy answer about blacks having higher bone/muscle density thus they sink. Dad then stripped to his underwear, (sidenote: all of the instructors were college age white women so looking back this is funny as Hell to me. Having said that, I learned that day that cotton boxers get sheer when wet... I'm not sure... nah, it's even funnier now... anyhoo.) He jumped into ten feet and told me to swim to him and I did. The instructors actually started teaching the black kids too after that.

Granted there are other reasons, many that have already been mentioned, but I wonder how many black kids have taken swimming lessons and still can't swim because the instructor didn't bother.

Cuddles
3rd August 2010, 10:06 PM
I have to disagree with the people who seem to think everyone should know how to swim. I love swimming. I've been swimming since I was 2 years old, I grew up by the sea, I kayak, surf and go canyoning, and I swim in a pool almost every day. But aside from when I deliberately go places in order to swim, I can't think of a single instance where being able to swim would have been in any way useful. Swimming is a great sport, and if you're involved in activities in and around the water then it's important for safety if nothing else. But if you're not involved in such activities, whether because you don't have the opportunity or simply don't want to, there's really no point to it at all.

Of course, I completely agree with everyone on the safety side of things. If you are going to play around in water, you absolutely must know what you're doing, or at the very least be supervised by people who do. Water can be pretty vicious stuff, even in small amounts. I guess the problem is that the people who understand that are the ones that don't need the advice because they already know. It's the people who have no idea at all about water who mostly get in trouble because they don't know that there's any danger there in the first place.

I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning, and won't necessarily help save someone from drowning, people who dive to save someone often get dragged down and drown as well. Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers.

Swimming aids and throwing them a rope or something that floats is what he seemed to think is most important.

There's an important difference between being able to swim in order to save yourself if you get in trouble, and expecting your ability to swim to be useful in a rescue. It should be obvious that if you get in trouble in water, being able to swim is going to be a big help. Certainly not guaranteed to save you, but you'll have a much better chance if you can do something more than flail around and panic.

However, there is almost no situation where you should ever consider jumping in to save someone. Reach for them, throw a line, use a boat (if you know how to use the boat in question and know the water you'll be using it on), but never just dive in. Even live baiting (that's where you have a buoyancy aid, helmet and a line attached to you) is dangerous and only done when there's really no other choice. Jumping in with no safety other than your ability to swim is rarely anything other than extreme stupidity, no matter how good you are at swimming. For every time it works and the rescuer is hailed as a hero, there are many more times where the would-be rescuer either requires other people to put themselves in danger to save them, or dies as well.

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 10:41 PM
I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning, and won't necessarily help save someone from drowning, people who dive to save someone often get dragged down and drown as well. Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers.

Swimming aids and throwing them a rope or something that floats is what he seemed to think is most important.


Your instructor must have been completely retarded then. If all of these kids knew how to swim, every single one of them would be alive at this very moment. They had no chance whatsoever. I agree that tossing them a flotation device would have been the best option for saving them as opposed to someone jumping in after them. But saying something like "knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning" is pretty dumb in this situation. In other situations, such as being caught in a sewer, tidal wave, trapped in a car under water, etc obviously swimming won't necessarily save you. But hell, I would say that swimming is about the only thing that could give you a fighting chance if no one is around to throw something that floats to you.

Quad4_72
3rd August 2010, 10:45 PM
I have to disagree with the people who seem to think everyone should know how to swim. I love swimming. I've been swimming since I was 2 years old, I grew up by the sea, I kayak, surf and go canyoning, and I swim in a pool almost every day. But aside from when I deliberately go places in order to swim, I can't think of a single instance where being able to swim would have been in any way useful. Swimming is a great sport, and if you're involved in activities in and around the water then it's important for safety if nothing else. But if you're not involved in such activities, whether because you don't have the opportunity or simply don't want to, there's really no point to it at all.

Of course, I completely agree with everyone on the safety side of things. If you are going to play around in water, you absolutely must know what you're doing, or at the very least be supervised by people who do. Water can be pretty vicious stuff, even in small amounts. I guess the problem is that the people who understand that are the ones that don't need the advice because they already know. It's the people who have no idea at all about water who mostly get in trouble because they don't know that there's any danger there in the first place.



There's an important difference between being able to swim in order to save yourself if you get in trouble, and expecting your ability to swim to be useful in a rescue. It should be obvious that if you get in trouble in water, being able to swim is going to be a big help. Certainly not guaranteed to save you, but you'll have a much better chance if you can do something more than flail around and panic.

However, there is almost no situation where you should ever consider jumping in to save someone. Reach for them, throw a line, use a boat (if you know how to use the boat in question and know the water you'll be using it on), but never just dive in. Even live baiting (that's where you have a buoyancy aid, helmet and a line attached to you) is dangerous and only done when there's really no other choice. Jumping in with no safety other than your ability to swim is rarely anything other than extreme stupidity, no matter how good you are at swimming. For every time it works and the rescuer is hailed as a hero, there are many more times where the would-be rescuer either requires other people to put themselves in danger to save them, or dies as well.

I'm just one of those guys that likes to be prepared for the worst. Even if I lived in the city I would still go out of my way to get my kids swimming lessons. Just one of those skills that I want all of my kids to know. You just never know where you will end up or what situation may arise. Something as simple as swimming could save your life. Hell in big cities there are small ponds. Many ponds don't have any railings beside them. One slip could mean life or death to someone who can't swim.

Accidental Martyr
3rd August 2010, 11:05 PM
In my experience, this is a perfect example of a stereotype reinforcing itself. When I was five I went to a swim class so I could get the wrist band that would allow me to go to the deep end in the public pools. My parents had already taught me so I could swim just fine. I realized after several classes that the only kids that were regulated to holding onto the wall were the black kids. I wasn't because I "passed", that is until my dad (who unlike mom & me didn't pass for white) brought me to class and the teachers realized I was part black so I suddenly had to hold onto the wall too. I whined about it (what? I was 5...) and dad asked why I wasn't allowed to swim. He got some crazy answer about blacks having higher bone/muscle density thus they sink. Dad then stripped to his underwear, (sidenote: all of the instructors were college age white women so looking back this is funny as Hell to me. He jumped into ten feet and told me to swim to him and I did.
Granted there are other reasons, many that have already been mentioned, but I wonder how many black kids have taken swimming lessons and still can't swim because the instructor didn't bother.
Interesting. When and where did this take place?

kerikiwi
4th August 2010, 12:22 AM
I went to swimming lessons for 5 years and never got out of Beginners. My inability to swim is not for lack of trying or encouragement from my parents.

It is for lack of good teaching.

Swimming should be part of all primary school education.
More important than any other aspect of physical education.
We don't blame parents if their children are illiterate or innumerate. Why blame them if their children have had inadequate aquatics education?

kerikiwi
4th August 2010, 12:42 AM
You would like to think that they exercised every option available to them to save their kids, but judging by their common sense level, they probably just stood around and screamed.

Given the immediate situation, what options do you think might have been available?

kerikiwi
4th August 2010, 12:48 AM
When I was 3 or so, I fell into a pool, and got myself out!
I was found lying under a bush, near the pool.
I do recall walking underwater to the steps... but that was 69 years ago.

I challenge the accuracy of your memory...

ponderingturtle
4th August 2010, 03:07 AM
I'm just one of those guys that likes to be prepared for the worst. Even if I lived in the city I would still go out of my way to get my kids swimming lessons. Just one of those skills that I want all of my kids to know. You just never know where you will end up or what situation may arise. Something as simple as swimming could save your life. Hell in big cities there are small ponds. Many ponds don't have any railings beside them. One slip could mean life or death to someone who can't swim.

Few ponds have vertical sides. Normally you would just end up in a few inches of water. If you are on a bridge over such a pond they tend to have railings.

Emet
4th August 2010, 05:05 AM
It is for lack of good teaching.

Swimming should be part of all primary school education.
More important than any other aspect of physical education.
<snip>

Agreed. Some countries also agree:

Swimming lessons

I took swimming lessons early. My high school (US) had a pool, and swimming was required. Yet it was easy to be excused for a variety of reasons.

Two articles about swimming proficiency requirements in the US:

Colleges (2006):
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/05/08/time_to_sink_or_graduate/

Elementary school (2010):
http://www.centredaily.com/2010/07/26/2113069/district-may-alter-swim-classes.html

Schrodinger's Cat
4th August 2010, 05:07 AM
Your instructor must have been completely retarded then. If all of these kids knew how to swim, every single one of them would be alive at this very moment. They had no chance whatsoever. I agree that tossing them a flotation device would have been the best option for saving them as opposed to someone jumping in after them. But saying something like "knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning" is pretty dumb in this situation. In other situations, such as being caught in a sewer, tidal wave, trapped in a car under water, etc obviously swimming won't necessarily save you. But hell, I would say that swimming is about the only thing that could give you a fighting chance if no one is around to throw something that floats to you.

I agree. That instructor should have been fired. They had no business teaching safety if they're teaching people that knowing how to swim won't help prevent drowning. "Oh, knowing how to swim won't make any difference in my chances of drowning in large bodies of water." Uh, what else would give you a better chance? I was on a swim team for years. I could swim for miles if I needed to. When ferries capsize near land, who survives? The people who know how to swim. If a ferry capsized a mile from shore in tepid water, I wouldn't be concerned (for myself) in the slightest. I'd just swim to shore. I mean, yes, it's possible I could still die in that a rip tide could come and get me or a shark could eat me, but the chances of that happening are miniscule. Whereas if I didn't swim, I'd just drown.


"Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers" yeah, if you're swimming in a 50 degree ocean, or swimming for hours, you're right. How often are you in that situation, vs any other situation you where you would be in water? These kids were wading in a warm river, not cast at sea for days. They weren't swept away by a strong current, they just stepped into an area where the water was over their heads and drowned. Why on earth would they have drowned if they knew how to swim considering the river wasn't strong, wasn't freezing? If knowing how to swim doesn't decrease your chances of drowning when water is over your head, then why don't hundreds of people drown every day in warm months? If drowning is that easy, considering the number of people who swim in the summer...every summer we should be seeing people drowning in the tens of thousands. And why is it that when you hear about people who drown in pools, it's almost always young children who didn't know how to swim? Why don't you hear constant reports of, "family of 4, including parents, drowned in their backyard swimming pool." Why aren't swim practices filled with people having to rescue eachother, since swimming doesn't actually make not drowning easier? I was on a swim team for 8 years, and never once did someone yell out, "My God! Though I can swim, help me! I'm drowning!"


No, swimming won't save you from drowning in every situation. Guess what, medical care also won't save people in every situation. Does that mean access to medical care "doesn't make much of a difference" in people's chances of survival when seriously injured or sick?

Seriously one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

Woolgatherer
4th August 2010, 07:40 AM
In my experience...
Interesting. When and where did this take place?

I'm happy this didn't happen where I grew up. One of my coaches happened to be black and was one of the strongest swimmers I've ever seen. His sister was an All American swimmer for CSU in '88.

Safe-Keeper
4th August 2010, 07:55 AM
I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning, and won't necessarily help save someone from drowning, people who dive to save someone often get dragged down and drown as well. Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers.

Swimming aids and throwing them a rope or something that floats is what he seemed to think is most important.That's like saying that fire extinguishers aren't neccessary in a home because sometimes people die trying to fight fires with them. Or that pilots don't need to wear parachutes because sometimes they fail to open. Hogwash.

Of course if someone is in trouble in the water it's often just as good an idea to throw them something. Just like you shouldn't neccessarily run straight for the biggest fire extinguisher you can find if you topple a candle, you don't always need to dive in to save someone who's drowning. But other times, you do, and then yes, it does kinda help you if you know how to swim.

pgwenthold
4th August 2010, 08:14 AM
That's like saying that fire extinguishers aren't neccessary in a home because sometimes people die trying to fight fires with them. Or that pilots don't need to wear parachutes because sometimes they fail to open. Hogwash.

Of course if someone is in trouble in the water it's often just as good an idea to throw them something. Just like you shouldn't neccessarily run straight for the biggest fire extinguisher you can find if you topple a candle, you don't always need to dive in to save someone who's drowning. But other times, you do, and then yes, it does kinda help you if you know how to swim.

But in the end, the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to throw them a life preserver. It may help to know how to swim, but there have been many, many instances of where a drowning person takes down the person that jumps in to save them, too.

Lifeguards are what they are, not because they know how to swim, but because they know how to swim AND have been taught how to rescue drowning people. Knowing how to swim is not sufficient to do that.

Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die.

The instructor in this case was 100% correct.

Woolgatherer
4th August 2010, 08:22 AM
Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die.

The instructor in this case was 100% correct.


Good point! A drowning person in panic will try to climb you to get to air. You have to grab the drowning person in such a way to keep one arm free and the other around their neck while they rest on their back. At least that's how I would do it.

Quad4_72
4th August 2010, 08:31 AM
Given the immediate situation, what options do you think might have been available?

No idea. That's why I said I would like to think that they exercised all possible options to save their child. For example, if there was a big log laying around, throwing that in the river, or anything else that floats. If there was nothing around, then like I said all they could do is sit there and watch their kids drown.

Stacko
4th August 2010, 08:48 AM
Good point! A drowning person in panic will try to climb you to get to air. You have to grab the drowning person in such a way to keep one arm free and the other around their neck while they rest on their back. At least that's how I would do it.

I'd advise grabbing them with one arm under their armpits from behind and not around their neck since putting a drowning person in a choke hold is just going to make them panic more. Although unless you're a trained lifeguard, I'd recommend just throwing or if you can't throw that far swimming a floatation device to them if possible. As stated earlier use grabbing them as a last resort since it presents a large risk to the recuer.

Kestrel
4th August 2010, 08:53 AM
But in the end, the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to throw them a life preserver. It may help to know how to swim, but there have been many, many instances of where a drowning person takes down the person that jumps in to save them, too.

Lifeguards are what they are, not because they know how to swim, but because they know how to swim AND have been taught how to rescue drowning people. Knowing how to swim is not sufficient to do that.

Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die.

The instructor in this case was 100% correct.

I disagree.

Knowing how to swim can save your life. A non-swimmer will drown in many situations that someone who knows how to swim could easily handle. Learning drownproofing techniques for staying afloat without expending a lot of energy is even better.

You don't need specialized lifesaving training to save your own life. That is for situations where you can't reach, throw or row to save someone else from drowning.

barium
4th August 2010, 09:09 AM
But in the end, the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to throw them a life preserver. It may help to know how to swim, but there have been many, many instances of where a drowning person takes down the person that jumps in to save them, too.

Lifeguards are what they are, not because they know how to swim, but because they know how to swim AND have been taught how to rescue drowning people. Knowing how to swim is not sufficient to do that.

Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die.

The instructor in this case was 100% correct.

Which is why both swimming and first aid/rescue should be taught in school. I can't understand why it shouldn't be done. Surely it's at least as important as learning how to throw a football in gym class?

Quad4_72
4th August 2010, 09:25 AM
But in the end, the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to throw them a life preserver. It may help to know how to swim, but there have been many, many instances of where a drowning person takes down the person that jumps in to save them, too.

Lifeguards are what they are, not because they know how to swim, but because they know how to swim AND have been taught how to rescue drowning people. Knowing how to swim is not sufficient to do that.

Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die.

The instructor in this case was 100% correct.

What if you throw the life preserver and its not close enough to the drowning person and they have to swim 10 feet to get to it? Hell if they can't swim, you most likely won't have time to grab a flotation device before they sink to the bottom.

Woolgatherer
4th August 2010, 09:30 AM
I'd advise grabbing them with one arm under their armpits from behind and not around their neck since putting a drowning person in a choke hold is just going to make them panic more. Although unless you're a trained lifeguard, I'd recommend just throwing or if you can't throw that far swimming a floatation device to them if possible. As stated earlier use grabbing them as a last resort since it presents a large risk to the recuer.

I'll remember that ("I'd advise grabbing them with one arm under their armpits"). I didn't consider that that would put pressure on their neck. I've also played water polo and have experienced the feeling of someone pulling me down. Not pleasant. So yeah, use hooks on poles, branches, tubes first if you can (like you and others have said).

I Ratant
4th August 2010, 09:34 AM
I challenge the accuracy of your memory...
.
So do I, but only the age at which it occurred. Sometime before 1945.

Schrodinger's Cat
4th August 2010, 09:56 AM
But in the end, the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to throw them a life preserver. It may help to know how to swim, but there have been many, many instances of where a drowning person takes down the person that jumps in to save them, too.

Lifeguards are what they are, not because they know how to swim, but because they know how to swim AND have been taught how to rescue drowning people. Knowing how to swim is not sufficient to do that.

Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die.

The instructor in this case was 100% correct.


That is not what the original post stated. The original post stated

I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning,

If the instructor actually said that knowing how to swim isn't much help in preventing you from drowning, than he is a moron.

The person who posted this point applied it to the OP, in which the kids simply waded in over their heads and drowned because the water was over their heads.

Stating that knowing how to swim isn't much help in keeping you from drowning when the only threat you face is that the water is over your head is ridiculous.

I am hoping that the person who posted this just woefully misunderstood the instructors information.

Saying, "Knowing how to swim doesn't help much to prevent you from drowning" is very different than saying, "it's much safer to give a drowning person a life preserver because they can pull you under if you try and save them yourself."

Knowing how to swim is the #1 way to prevent drowning. Period. Of course it won't save you if you're capsized in a typhoon. Of course it is still dangerous to save a drowning person if you can swim.

But saying that knowing how to swim in general does not help prevent drownings is idiotic.

pgwenthold
4th August 2010, 10:22 AM
If the instructor actually said that knowing how to swim isn't much help in preventing you from drowning, than he is a moron.

I would agree, if that was actually was said. An alternative interpretation is that isn't what was said. If, for example, the instructor said, "Knowing how to swim isn't going to prevent you from drowning" it is spot on and an important point.

So I asked myself, what is more likely? That the instructor is a moron and actually said "isn't much help in preventing you from drowning" or that the instructor said the absolute truth, that it "won't prevent you from drowning" and the poster here subtly distorted the statement to make it sound much more idiotic than it was (wittingly or not), I opted for giving the instructor the benefit of the doubt, considering how fallible human perception can be.

Yes, IF the instructor actually said THAT, then it would be a problem. However, if the instructor only said something LIKE that it, then it matters exactly what was said.

king catfish
4th August 2010, 10:47 AM
I don't swim very well. I can save myself if I fall into water as long as it's not more than 100 yards or so to the edge or a boat or something. Strangely, I can do the sidestroke and the backstroke but I cannot tread water or doggie paddle at all. Seriously, just swimming 50 yards is exhausting, but I can do it if I have to.

There is no way I could save another person, even a child, who is in trouble in the water, unless the distance traveled to safety was very short. A normal backyard pool, sure, but not a river.

(My kids are learning how to swim currently.)

So, being relatively sensible, I observe the following rules:

1. I would NEVER EVER EVER put myself in a position to be responsible for kids who are swimming. I make ABSOLUTELY sure there are other adults present who can swim. And my kids are not allowed near water without a an adult who is a good swimmer.

2. I can't think of a remotely plausible reason to allow kids into an unfamiliar body of water. Even for kids who are strong swimmers this is a poor choice.

3. If via some completely insane sequence of events I found myself in such a situation, I would feel obligated to die trying to save the kids. Just one. At least try. It would be impossible for me to stand and watch. How could anyone do that? I would run for a rope, call 911 on my cell if possible, swim out, sink to the bottom, push the kid up to the surface, mover a little closer to shore, repeat until I drown. What choice would I have?

[EDITED TO ADD: I realize that this might be a stupid thing to do. But without a more water-educted person present, this is what I would do, I think. I am not saying this is what everyone should do; I just know myself and how I would react.]

How does a reasonable person put himself in such a position? And how do you not make the attempt, even if you die doing so? I can't figure it out.

What a tragedy. A combination of stupid choices, unpreparedness, and cowardice. Very very sad.

Skeptic Guy
4th August 2010, 10:52 AM
I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning, and won't necessarily help save someone from drowning, people who dive to save someone often get dragged down and drown as well. Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers.

Swimming aids and throwing them a rope or something that floats is what he seemed to think is most important.

I understand what you are saying, but I think there are two issues here.

1) If you are going to go anywhere near deep water, you need to know how to swim. You can get in trouble very quickly and shouldn't rely on someone else to save you.

2) If you are going to try to save someone who is drowning, you need to know what you are doing. You are 100% right that the rescuer could end up a victim when confronted with a panicked swimmer. I took lifesaving training when I was young and that was drilled into us everyday. In fact, our 250 pound instructor took great pleasure playing the panicked swimmer and trying to take us with him. You try to learn a couple of tricks to help, but at the end of the day, we were trained to back off from the rescue if the swimmer we were trying to save was unmanageable.

The best way, if they are in reach, is to throw the victim a flotation device and hope they have the presence of mind to use it.

WildCat
4th August 2010, 11:00 AM
I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning,
It certainly helps you when you step into water that's over your head.

No, it won't help you if you fall into 32oF water and can't get out immediately. It won't help you if you're stumbling drunk, or if you're in a strong current or riptide.

In this case it would have been very helpful. And in a related note, 60% of black kids can't swim (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24411271/), twice the white rate. This can be corrected, and reduce such tragedies. Everyone should know how to swim.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 11:01 AM
.... I can't think of a single instance where being able to swim would have been in any way useful. ...:boggled:
However, there is almost no situation where you should ever consider jumping in to save someone. ...Really? Think a 2 year old is going to pull you under or be able to grab a rope. :rolleyes:


I don't buy the "you'll be pulled under every time" concept your post implies. One, it depends on a many different factors from the size of the drowning person, to their level of panic, the temperature and speed of the water if it is moving, and so on. Most importantly, if it's my own kid, I'd rather drown trying to help him than stay on the shore calculating whether or not he might pull me under if I try.

Not everyone who drowns is in a total panic. Many people underestimate their strength and drown because they cannot swim back to the water's edge or become hypothermic.

As for, not one instance you found yourself in, why would that matter? Clearly an instance could occur. You don't learn how to swim because you will drown if you don't, you do it because you might.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 11:06 AM
Given the immediate situation, what options do you think might have been available?I can think of several.

Take your shirt or pants off and use it as a rope to reach the kids with.

Wade to the edge of the drop off, reach for the kids from there. A large adult need not be pulled in by a smaller teen.

Tell the kids to take big breaths and hold it in, then quickly take another and so on. At least some, if not all of the kids can use their lungs as a float.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 11:10 AM
...Throw them a life-preserver, or reach them with a pole. At least if that fails, only they will drown. When you jump in to play the hero, without the proper training, and you fail as a result, you both die....Some people do drown trying to rescue others. But this blanket admonition is baloney.

Better to know about the risk and consider if you can deal with it or not if one is not "trained" in what to do.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 11:15 AM
I'll remember that ("I'd advise grabbing them with one arm under their armpits"). I didn't consider that that would put pressure on their neck. I've also played water polo and have experienced the feeling of someone pulling me down. Not pleasant. So yeah, use hooks on poles, branches, tubes first if you can (like you and others have said).If you don't panic and get a good gulp of air, there's a good chance the person pulling you down will pass out first letting go of you and you have a good chance of getting back to the surface.

It's fine to use a pole or rope or preserver as a first choice if you have one, but there are still many circumstances where the risk the drowning person would pull you down is just not the absolute risk it seems to be being portrayed here.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 11:18 AM
I don't swim very well. ...

(My kids are learning how to swim currently.) ....Ever thought of joining them?

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 11:21 AM
...
No, it won't help you if you fall into 32oF water and can't get out immediately. ....I fell through the ice once cross country skiing. We thought the ice was safe because it was 20F and there were snowmobile tracks across it.

Fortunately where I fell, the water was only knee deep. But as for being able to swim in that water, it was close to 20 minutes after I got out before I could feel my feet at all.

Quad4_72
4th August 2010, 11:55 AM
I can think of several.

Take your shirt or pants off and use it as a rope to reach the kids with.

Wade to the edge of the drop off, reach for the kids from there. A large adult need not be pulled in by a smaller teen.

Tell the kids to take big breaths and hold it in, then quickly take another and so on. At least some, if not all of the kids can use their lungs as a float.


Going off of experience with surprise drop offs in unfamiliar water, my guess would be that they sank within a couple seconds. If you are wading along then all of a sudden your next step is a complete drop off, your entire body goes underwater. If you know how to swim, you simply swim back to the surface and laugh because it caught you off guard. If you do not know how to swim, you continue to flail about underwater and most likely never make it back to the surface. So it is fairly likely that there was absolutely zero hope of saving them.

Even if these people would have had a pile of life preservers and ten lifeguards around, probably wouldn't have done a damn bit of good because if the life preservers were thrown, you can't really grab on to them if you are already sinking to the bottom. Then the lifeguards likely wouldn't have been able to save them because by the time they got out to where they were sinking, the kids would already have been at the bottom of the hole. Remember, your average swimming pools deep end is about 12ft. This sink hole went down about 28 feet. Then of course there would have been zero visibility to find these kids even if these lifeguards could have swam down the 28feet to rescue them.

Here is how long it took rescue divers to find all of the bodies:
Divers recovered the first body at 7:51 p.m., the final one just after 10 p.m.
So a little more then two hours to recover the bodies and that is with professional diving equipment. The point is, knowing how to swim is probably the only thing that could have saved these kids.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 12:20 PM
But saying that knowing how to swim in general does not help prevent drownings is idiotic.

People who know how to swim are as likely to get tired as anybody else, and thermal shock doesn't have to be extreme to incapacitate someone.

BTW, I said necessarily. You read English do you? People whop know how to swim drown all the time.

Woolgatherer
4th August 2010, 12:24 PM
People who know how to swim are as likely to get tired as anybody else, and thermal shock doesn't have to be extreme to incapacitate someone.

I'll bet I can tread water far longer than someone that can't swim.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 12:26 PM
I'll bet I can tread water far longer than someone that can't swim.

Of course, nobody said the contrary. But you'd be advised not to overestimate yourself when you're in water, it could save your life. Fatigue sets in very quickly.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 12:31 PM
That's like saying that fire extinguishers aren't neccessary in a home because sometimes people die trying to fight fires with them. Or that pilots don't need to wear parachutes because sometimes they fail to open. Hogwash.

Of course if someone is in trouble in the water it's often just as good an idea to throw them something. Just like you shouldn't neccessarily run straight for the biggest fire extinguisher you can find if you topple a candle, you don't always need to dive in to save someone who's drowning. But other times, you do, and then yes, it does kinda help you if you know how to swim.

All I said is that it's not necessarily helpful. Do you guys understand what the word "necessarily (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/necessarily)" means?

Quad4_72
4th August 2010, 12:32 PM
People who know how to swim are as likely to get tired as anybody else, and thermal shock doesn't have to be extreme to incapacitate someone.

BTW, I said necessarily. You read English do you? People whop know how to swim drown all the time.

You really are not making a valid argument Pardalis. Of course everyone gets tired. But would you agree that someone who knows how to swim is much less likely to drown if thrown in water above their head as opposed to someone who does not know how to swim?

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 12:35 PM
But would you agree that someone who knows how to swim is much less likely to drown if thrown in water above their head as opposed to someone who does not know how to swim?

I've never made the argument to the contrary. The instructor never made that argument either.

All I said is knowing how to swim is not necessarily going to save you. Swiming aids and floating devices are useful even for people who already know how to swim. If you go out in a body of water, bring some, even if everyone in your party knows how to swim.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 12:41 PM
Again, statements like these to me sound dangerous:

Uh, what else would give you a better chance? I was on a swim team for years. I could swim for miles if I needed to.

A sudden malaise, fatigue, a change in water temperature (doesn't need to be extreme) will incapacitate anyone. I'm just saying you need to be aware of it. Of course knowing how to swim will increase your chances of survival, but don't think it's a 100% garantee.

Region Rat
4th August 2010, 12:57 PM
When I was a kid, my family was at Kentucky Lake swimming at a beach. A girl started thrashing around in the water, and some guys ran out and picked her up and set her on her feet in thigh deep water. Once she calmed down, she said that she was swimming underwater to scare her brother when she hiccupped or something and gulped in some water. She just panicked and thrashed for the surface and never thought to just stand up. The mind in panic can do crazy things.

It amazes me that 6 kids would drown this way, but I can easily see how a kid could go under quick and gulp a lungful of water. Even if he could swim, this would throw them into an instinctive panic.

Woolgatherer
4th August 2010, 12:58 PM
Of course knowing how to swim will increase your chances of survival, but don't think it's a 100% garantee.

I'm aware of the dangers of water especially in creeks, rivers and lakes. Neighborhood pools can be dangerous too. I watched someone who could swim quite well dive into a pool forgetting that it was in a shallow area. The man was knocked out and suffered severe scrapes from the rough bottom. He was rescued by a lifeguard, hospitalized and survived the experience.

Architect
4th August 2010, 01:15 PM
A sudden malaise, fatigue, a change in water temperature (doesn't need to be extreme) will incapacitate anyone. I'm just saying you need to be aware of it. Of course knowing how to swim will increase your chances of survival, but don't think it's a 100% garantee.

One of the problems in this water is people swimming in lochs in summer; whilst the topmost half metre or so may be at a reasonable temparture, the layers below that will remain extremely cold and can incapacitate the unwary quickly.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 01:20 PM
One of the problems in this water is people swimming in lochs in summer; whilst the topmost half metre or so may be at a reasonable temparture, the layers below that will remain extremely cold and can incapacitate the unwary quickly.

And there's that pesky plesiosaur one has to keep an eye on too. ;)

Ixion
4th August 2010, 01:38 PM
I have heard the stereotype that black people can't swim and brought it up one time to my black friend. She immediately replied that she couldn't swim (despite being raised near water) and neither could her black friends.

Baffled, I made the remark "I will teach anyone how to swim. It is important and could save your life one day! I don't care what the stereotype is or what color your skin is. There is no reason you shouldn't know how to swim, even if you choose not to use the ability very often." I realized later I may have come off condecending, but I am really just concerned for people's well-being. :( No one took me up on my offer, though it still stands.

Architect
4th August 2010, 01:57 PM
I can't speak for the US, but I suspect that this is exactly the reason why swimming forms part of the PE curriculum for both primary and secondary schools here in Scotland - or at least it did when I was at school, it may have changed in the intervening period. Likewise there was quite a campaign in the late 70s and early 80s to encourage learners (anyone in the UK remember the Rolf Harris adverts?).

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 02:04 PM
...my guess would be that they sank within a couple seconds.The evidence is they cried for help suggesting longer than a few seconds.

Skeptical Greg
4th August 2010, 02:12 PM
What's the minimum time limit on crying for help ?

Do we know that all six managed to cry for help ..

This story says the kid that the six victims were trying to rescue, was saved by a bystander..

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/red-river-drowning-survivor-says-bottom-of-the-river-was-falling/19580409

Christopher Patlan heard the group screaming, jumped in and pulled DeKendrix to safety. By then, it was too late to save the others, he said.

Schrodinger's Cat
4th August 2010, 02:15 PM
All I said is that it's not necessarily helpful. Do you guys understand what the word "necessarily (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/necessarily)" means?

You stated, regarding the OP

I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help

The only thing that happened to these kids is that they were in water over their heads.

How on earth would them being able to swim have NOT helped considering the ONLY danger they faced was being in water over their heads?

You didn't say, "I don't think knowing how to swim can save you in every situation"

you said "I don't think it is that much of a help"

Applied to the situation in discussion (kids in water over their heads, no other threats facing them), the idea that swimming would probably not have helped is a ridiculous conclusion.

If you are in a body of water over your head, and you are swimming, and you don't drown, then you are not drowning because you are able to swim.

The percentage of people swimming in extreme situations (freezing water, adrift at sea, saving a drowning person) is far less than the percentage of people who are just swimming in non extreme situations. The rest of the time, it's people swimming in good weather in tepid water in pools, lakes, ponds, etc. The reason these people do not drown when they enter said pools, lakes, etc, is because they can swim.

As I said, I find it very strange that people aren't drowning in the tens of thousands every summer considering knowing how to swim isn't a big help in preventing you from drowning when the only threat you face is that water is over your head, like the kids in this story.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 02:28 PM
You stated, regarding the OP

Taking a quote out of context twice is not going to help you gain credibility.
you said "I don't think it is that much of a help"


And three times either.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 02:29 PM
The percentage of people swimming in extreme situations

I wasn't talking about extreme situations. Hypothermia happens more often than you think.

often mrunderstood
4th August 2010, 02:37 PM
Helpful information:

http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/

Ferguson
4th August 2010, 02:43 PM
I wasn't talking about extreme situations. Hypothermia happens more often than you think.

How often does Hypothermia happen in Louisiana in the summer time?

If they'd known how to swim, they'd be alive. Millions of people will swim in rivers today with virtually zero danger of drowning, because they aren't in the Arctic and they know how to swim.

Woolgatherer
4th August 2010, 02:43 PM
Helpful information:

http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/

That scares me to death. Having two young ones I can tell you danger is sooo close when you take them into the water.

Pardalis
4th August 2010, 02:45 PM
How often does Hypothermia happen in Louisiana in the summer time?

If they'd known how to swim, they'd be alive. Millions of people will swim in rivers today with virtually zero danger of drowning, because they aren't in the Arctic and they know how to swim.

Yes, cold water only exists in the Arctic. :rolleyes:

Safe-Keeper
4th August 2010, 02:53 PM
What's the minimum time limit on crying for help ?

Do we know that all six managed to cry for help ..

This story says the kid that the six victims were trying to rescue, was saved by a bystander..

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/red-river-drowning-survivor-says-bottom-of-the-river-was-falling/19580409Another thing to remember is that (according to a newspaper article I just read) contrary to what you'd expect, most drownings happen without cries for help, because the person drowning is unable to keep his or her head above the water.

Stacko
4th August 2010, 03:04 PM
Another thing to remember is that (according to a newspaper article I just read) contrary to what you'd expect, most drownings happen without cries for help, because the person drowning is unable to keep his or her head above the water.

That and if they do get their head above water, they're more concerned with getting air into their lungs than exhaling a cry for help.

Verde
4th August 2010, 03:11 PM
I can't speak for the US, but I suspect that this is exactly the reason why swimming forms part of the PE curriculum for both primary and secondary schools here in Scotland - or at least it did when I was at school, it may have changed in the intervening period. Likewise there was quite a campaign in the late 70s and early 80s to encourage learners (anyone in the UK remember the Rolf Harris adverts?).

Must have changed over the years. When I grew up in Norfolk (in the 50s & 60s) we didn't have access to a pool until my teen's. At the beach we were told not to go in above our knees.

Here in Arizona most people have backyard pools. My kids and grandkids took to the water just fine. My black friends and their kids swim like fishes. The only person I know that can't swim is a 60-something from Sheffield who 'just doesn't like water', even though she's been here for over 30 years.

I've been in Louisiana waters in the summer, and hypothermia is not an issue.

Tragic situation, though. I can't even imagine what everyone involved is going through right now.

V.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 04:59 PM
What's the minimum time limit on crying for help ?

Do we know that all six managed to cry for help ..

This story says the kid that the six victims were trying to rescue, was saved by a bystander..

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/red-river-drowning-survivor-says-bottom-of-the-river-was-falling/19580409
I didn't get the impression any kid was trying to rescue the first one. As one began to fall they grabbed the next kid and that one grabbed the next. It sounded like they kind of all pulled each other in.

News reports rarely get such details right. But it's hard to imagine 5 kids who couldn't swim trying to rescue the 6th. While it is easy to imagine them all grabbing at each other as one began to fall.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 05:02 PM
How often does Hypothermia happen in Louisiana in the summer time?

If they'd known how to swim, they'd be alive. Millions of people will swim in rivers today with virtually zero danger of drowning, because they aren't in the Arctic and they know how to swim.Rivers can be very cold even in very hot climates. And like I said earlier, one or more persons (usually more) drown in our rivers and lakes every year around here in the summer time. People rarely go in the water in winter. It depends on if their source is melting ice and snow, how far from the head waters, how fast and how deep the water in question in. The Mississippi might get quite warm but the time it reaches Louisiana. The Colorado, OTOH feels icy cold to swim in, in Arizona in the summer.

Furcifer
4th August 2010, 07:06 PM
I wasn't talking about extreme situations. Hypothermia happens more often than you think.

It probably does. The first time I jumped in the ocean out on the Sunshine Coast it was 30 C and it took a week for my testicles to descend.

However, the string of downing deaths in Ontario, Michigan and other US states don't seem to be related to hypothermia in any way. Last time I checked Lake Erie was about 76F, that's gross. It's been hot this summer and the water has been warm. I swan continuously in lake Huron for the first time in 20 years. I bet Georgian Bay was "refreshing". ;)

A number of drownings have also taken place in Hotel pools and the like. They aren't prone to Hypothermia either.

The rise in deaths this Summer seem directly attributable to something other than hypothermia.

Anyhow, check out the Toronto Sun and stuff to see what's going on here in Ontario. It's an anomaly.

Steve001
4th August 2010, 08:54 PM
It might depend on your definition of swimming, but, basically, I can't swim. I sink very handily. Oh, I might be able to tread water for a minute (my wife has timed it), and I can stay afloat long enough to kick to get to the side of the pool from the middle, but beyond that, I can't swim to save my life. Literally.


From a person that taught themselves to swim when a child I just can't wrap my brain around this part. You handily sink. I am asking in all sincerity. Considering the human body naturally floats how do you accomplish sinking handily ? What actually do you do to make yourself sink ?

Steve001
4th August 2010, 08:59 PM
Here in Arizona most people have backyard pools.



Here's one Arizona pool I saw on the Travel Channel. more photos
http://www.troublefreepool.com/million-dollar-pool-t15093.html
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3614/3685437152_bf0739044d.jpg

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 09:18 PM
From a person that taught themselves to swim when a child I just can't wrap my brain around this part. You handily sink. I am asking in all sincerity. Considering the human body naturally floats how do you accomplish sinking handily ? What actually do you do to make yourself sink ?

We had a very long discussion of buoyancy of the human body in a thread a while back. I've always been able to float with just the air in my lungs. I taught my son to use his lungs for floatation if he was ever too tired to tread or swim.

Then some people presented evidence that not everyone's body density including inflated lungs is less than water.

I have yet to verify which claim is true but concede the evidence posted was convincing.

I think kids would have more fatty tissue, especially subcutaneous and they should float if they can just hold air in their lungs and refill them with quick gulps. The human body, however, without air in the lungs (except in the reserve space) will sink. After gas forms from decomposition the body will float back to the surface.

Skeptic Ginger
4th August 2010, 09:24 PM
Here's one Arizona pool I saw on the Travel Channel. more photos
http://www.troublefreepool.com/million-dollar-pool-t15093.htmlDid you see where officials in NY are busting people who have pools that were built without permits because they show up in Google Earth?

Google Earth Used To Find Unlicensed Pools (http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/long_island/Google-Earth-Used-To-Find-Unlicensed-Pools-20100801-apx)

Sorry, back to the thread.

HistoryGal
4th August 2010, 11:18 PM
Good point! A drowning person in panic will try to climb you to get to air. You have to grab the drowning person in such a way to keep one arm free and the other around their neck while they rest on their back. At least that's how I would do it.

When assisting a person in trouble, you swim close by (but not too close) and reach out your hand. The victim will usually grab it and try to take you under. What you do at that point is let them grab you, grab them back with your hand, then take your foot and press down on their shoulder to put their head under the water. This usually causes them to let go. Of course, you're still holding their arm, and you just twist them around and put them in the fireman's carry and sidestroke them to safety.

And yes, I got certified as a junior lifeguard in high school. :)

Swimming is important, but not as important as learning water safety. Swimming is a means of transport. It's more important to learn how to float vertically, how to tread water, and, in case you fall in fully clothed, how to turn your clothes into flotation devices.

quadraginta
5th August 2010, 01:16 AM
From a person that taught themselves to swim when a child I just can't wrap my brain around this part. You handily sink. I am asking in all sincerity. Considering the human body naturally floats how do you accomplish sinking handily ? What actually do you do to make yourself sink ?


We had a very long discussion of buoyancy of the human body in a thread a while back. I've always been able to float with just the air in my lungs. I taught my son to use his lungs for floatation if he was ever too tired to tread or swim.

Then some people presented evidence that not everyone's body density including inflated lungs is less than water.

I have yet to verify which claim is true but concede the evidence posted was convincing.

I think kids would have more fatty tissue, especially subcutaneous and they should float if they can just hold air in their lungs and refill them with quick gulps. The human body, however, without air in the lungs (except in the reserve space) will sink. After gas forms from decomposition the body will float back to the surface.


Some people sink.

I can speak to this with some authority, because I am one of them.

When I got my first Senior Lifesaving certification there was some dispute about this with my instructor. I pointed out the place in the Red Cross lifesaving manual which stated that, but to little avail. The problem was that to pass the test you had to be able to do a float of some sort.

I sink.

I can fill my lungs to capacity and grab my knees in an attempt to do a "mushroom float" and sink like the proverbial rock. I can sit on the bottom of a diving tank cross-legged. I forget what percentage of people are non-bouyant, but I am definitely one of them. I was back then when I was an athletic teenager, and I am today as a somewhat overweight adult.

Fortunately, with the aid of my instructor's supervisor and some graphic demonstrations I was able to be excused that part of the test.

-----------------------

I want join Pardalis in cautioning about the dangers of hypothermia. It is much more insidious and far more common than most people realize.

One of my lifeguarding gigs was for the YCC at a camp in Greenbrier County, WV in 1971. We had roped off a section of Anthony Creek, a large stream about twenty yards across, for the kids to use after the day's work. Southern WV is around mid 80s to low 90s (F) in late summer, and the water was around 65 to 70. It felt refreshing, certainly not cold. Hypothermia was my biggest problem.

These were all healthy kids in their early to mid-teens, working on forestry projects during the day and swimming a little after they got back, before dinner. I had to call two or three a week out of the water for the four weeks I was there. Hypothermia was the root cause in almost all cases Only one had gotten into serious trouble and required a more dramatic rescue, but the others certainly could have.

Don't underestimate hypothermia.

----------------------

I am as baffled as anyone who has commented in this thread about the failure of people to learn to swim. The mountains where I grew up were riddled with streams and rivers, and most of them were summer recreation spots. Lakes everywhere. I grew up in a town next to the Monongahela River, and my first lifeguarding job was at a public pool a hundred yards from its shoreline. Opportunities abounded for people to learn to swim, and frolicking in the water was a favorite pastime, but half the people I watched in that pool couldn't swim any better than a work boot. People would get into trouble for no apparent reason. I have never had a more stressful job.

----------------------

SG, I have to take issue with your suggestion that,

It's fine to use a pole or rope or preserver as a first choice if you have one, but there are still many circumstances where the risk the drowning person would pull you down is just not the absolute risk it seems to be being portrayed here.


Certainly it is possible to hypothesize such situations, and I expect that anecdotes are abundant, but the only word to describe someone who attempts a deep water rescue of a drowning victim by going in the water after them without training is "stupid". "Foolhardy" isn't strong enough.

I say this not just because I'm parroting what all the books claim. I'm saying it because I've done it. More than once. If you have the training and practice you do it only as a last resort, and you are worried. If you have both and experience you are more than worried. Scared is probably a better description.

Attempting it without training and practice just pumps up the victim count.

I know that it is difficult to understand how someone can suggest that you just stand there and do nothing, but sometimes there is nothing you can do. If you're not prepared for the task there will likely just be more dead bodies. If you aren't 100% certain that you know what you're doing ... then you don't. There isn't any middle of the road.

If there's anything worse than having to go in the water after a drowning victim it's having to go in and choose which victim to rescue, the original one or an erstwhile rescuer. I've had to do that, too.

SezMe
5th August 2010, 01:44 AM
In the US, school budgets have been hit hard. I would GUESS that many schools have reduced PE to a bare minimum if not eliminated it altogether. If swimming was part of that course, it probably was the first to go. Additionally, pool maintenance for a broke school district could be a budget killer. I wonder if that is a factor in kids ability to swim. The statistics cited say 60% of black kids can't swim, which is twice the rate for white kids. Which means 30% of white kids can't swim. That's a lot.

AliDimayev
5th August 2010, 05:51 AM
If the kids had been fat, they probably would not have drowned, seriously. But this is a very sad event and I am very sorry that it happened. Storeis like this happen all the time around various countries in the summer. Though usually it just one or two kids drowning on accounta they can't swim.

That someone who can't swim would go anywhere near water kind of boggles my mind a bit. Also, when I was yuounger and these type of news stories would come up I would be in disbelief because I couldn't fathom not knowing how to swim, but now I realize that there are people out there who simply don't know how to swim.

Woolgatherer
5th August 2010, 06:02 AM
When assisting a person in trouble, you swim close by (but not too close) and reach out your hand. The victim will usually grab it and try to take you under. What you do at that point is let them grab you, grab them back with your hand, then take your foot and press down on their shoulder to put their head under the water. This usually causes them to let go. Of course, you're still holding their arm, and you just twist them around and put them in the fireman's carry and sidestroke them to safety.

I'm taking mental notes. This would be an easier task if you're in a pool with clear water. A not so clear river with 7 drowning teens would be something else.

Skeptical Greg
5th August 2010, 06:21 AM
I didn't get the impression any kid was trying to rescue the first one.
So, you think he made this up?

"They were trying to save me and went under," DeKendrix told the paper.


As one began to fall they grabbed the next kid and that one grabbed the next. It sounded like they kind of all pulled each other in.

Where did you read that ? Besides, News reports rarely get such details right...

News reports rarely get such details right. But it's hard to imagine 5 kids who couldn't swim trying to rescue the 6th. While it is easy to imagine them all grabbing at each other as one began to fall.

Why do I suspect that my imagination wouldn't count for much, if I was doing the imagining ?

Kestrel
5th August 2010, 06:59 AM
If the kids had been fat, they probably would not have drowned, seriously. But this is a very sad event and I am very sorry that it happened. Storeis like this happen all the time around various countries in the summer. Though usually it just one or two kids drowning on accounta they can't swim.

That someone who can't swim would go anywhere near water kind of boggles my mind a bit. Also, when I was yuounger and these type of news stories would come up I would be in disbelief because I couldn't fathom not knowing how to swim, but now I realize that there are people out there who simply don't know how to swim.

Swimming was part of the culture I grew up in, but it's not true for everyone. Parents who swim will make sure their kids learn, parents who don't swim tend not to send their kids to swim lessons. So unless a friend, relative or some outside group drags the kids to swim lessons, the problem repeats in the next generation.

My college had a swimming requirement. Incoming freshmen were asked to swim across a pool. Those who said they could not swim, or had to be fished out of the pool, were signed up for swimming class.

Redtail
5th August 2010, 10:25 AM
Interesting. When and where did this take place?

Reidsville NC, 1977.

Steve001
5th August 2010, 01:06 PM
We had a very long discussion of buoyancy of the human body in a thread a while back. I've always been able to float with just the air in my lungs. I taught my son to use his lungs for floatation if he was ever too tired to tread or swim.

Then some people presented evidence that not everyone's body density including inflated lungs is less than water.

I have yet to verify which claim is true but concede the evidence posted was convincing.

I think kids would have more fatty tissue, especially subcutaneous and they should float if they can just hold air in their lungs and refill them with quick gulps. The human body, however, without air in the lungs (except in the reserve space) will sink. After gas forms from decomposition the body will float back to the surface.

Not to derail the thread average body density hovers around 1.01 gr per cc. Even as a skin and bones kid I still floated and assuming this fellow is not skin and bones how and what he does to make himself sink is quite perplexing to me.

The photos of the pool don't really do it justice it is really spectacular for a backyard pool.

Skeptical Greg
5th August 2010, 02:36 PM
In the spirit of derailment ..

Something in the post you quoted caught my pedantic attention :

I think kids would have more fatty tissue, especially subcutaneous ....

What kind of fatty tissue do we have that isn't subcutaneous ?

Modified
5th August 2010, 03:19 PM
Not to derail the thread average body density hovers around 1.01 gr per cc. Even as a skin and bones kid I still floated and assuming this fellow is not skin and bones how and what he does to make himself sink is quite perplexing to me.

A skin and bones kid will float with full lungs because of a high lung capacity to body weight ratio. For a muscular adult that ratio is much lower.

Modified
5th August 2010, 03:24 PM
What kind of fatty tissue do we have that isn't subcutaneous ?

Visceral, interstitial.

quadraginta
5th August 2010, 03:45 PM
Visceral, interstitial.


Liposuction waste.

Skeptical Greg
5th August 2010, 03:45 PM
Visceral, interstitial.

Thanks.. I learned something..

Travis
6th August 2010, 04:01 AM
We don't have a lot of pools locally. Certainly the schools don't have them because they cost lots of money to build and even if you can come up with that money the cost of insuring them and maintaining them is still more than they can afford.

Strangely most locals don't drown in our many rivers because they tend to stay out of them. We do have lots of tourists that come in and drown in droves every summer though.

Mark6
6th August 2010, 12:30 PM
Yes, cold water only exists in the Arctic. :rolleyes:
It does not exist in Louisiana in July.

Having read this thread, I must say that Pardalis is being an ass.

Skeptic Ginger
6th August 2010, 01:46 PM
...
Certainly it is possible to hypothesize such situations, and I expect that anecdotes are abundant, but the only word to describe someone who attempts a deep water rescue of a drowning victim by going in the water after them without training is "stupid". "Foolhardy" isn't strong enough.So you cannot imagine going after a small child? :rolleyes:

Skeptic Ginger
6th August 2010, 01:49 PM
It does not exist in Louisiana in July.

Having read this thread, I must say that Pardalis is being an ass.It takes mountains as a near enough source for a river to remain cold in a hot climate (relative to the speed of the flowing water). I've swam in both the Mississippi River where it was warm, and in the Colorado River in the scorching Arizona summer where the river was freezing cold.

Skeptic Ginger
6th August 2010, 01:58 PM
So, you think he made this up?He could have meant something else, or the quote might not be exact. This is the kid who fell first. "Trying to save me", might just as easily be, "trying to keep me from falling in".

Where did you read that ? Besides, News reports rarely get such details right...In one of the news accounts.

Why do I suspect that my imagination wouldn't count for much, if I was doing the imagining ?With two conflicting news stories or even any news story, of course we may not know which is correct.

Six kids holding each other as they waded in the river, with one falling triggering a cascade of falling makes more sense to me than 5 kids jumping or falling in one after the other to save the first one.

CORed
6th August 2010, 02:00 PM
I don't think knowing how to swim is that much of a help. I took first aid courses this year and the instructor told us knowing how to swim won't necessarily save you from drowning, and won't necessarily help save someone from drowning, people who dive to save someone often get dragged down and drown as well. Fatigue and thermal shock will incapacitate the best swimmers.

Swimming aids and throwing them a rope or something that floats is what he seemed to think is most important.

I've had life-saving classes, and one of the things they teach you is that going into the water to save someone should be the option of last resort. Whenever possible, you should try to reach them from the shore or the edge of the pool, with an arm, a leg, a board, a stick, arope or throw something that floats (tied to a rope if you can). Only if there are no other options, should you jump into the water and swim for them, and then only if you know how to properly rescue somebody without drowning yourself. Far too often a would-be rescuer ends up becoming another drowning victim, or in some cases, ends up drowning after the first person manages to save themselves.

Skeptic Ginger
6th August 2010, 02:07 PM
In the spirit of derailment ..

Something in the post you quoted caught my pedantic attention :



What kind of fatty tissue do we have that isn't subcutaneous ?Subcutaneous does not refer to anything at all below the skin layer. It refers to just below the skin, just as subfloor doesn't mean anything under the house either.

Medical definition (http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=8265)
Subcutaneous: Under the skin. "Subcutaneous" implies just under the skin.


And in case you really didn't know: Adipose Tissue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adipose_tissue)In humans, adipose tissue is located beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat), around internal organs (visceral fat), in bone marrow (yellow bone marrow) and in breast tissue.

Never mind, I see it was answered already.

CORed
6th August 2010, 02:09 PM
In my experience, this is a perfect example of a stereotype reinforcing itself. When I was five I went to a swim class so I could get the wrist band that would allow me to go to the deep end in the public pools. My parents had already taught me so I could swim just fine. I realized after several classes that the only kids that were regulated to holding onto the wall were the black kids. I wasn't because I "passed", that is until my dad (who unlike mom & me didn't pass for white) brought me to class and the teachers realized I was part black so I suddenly had to hold onto the wall too. I whined about it (what? I was 5...) and dad asked why I wasn't allowed to swim. He got some crazy answer about blacks having higher bone/muscle density thus they sink. Dad then stripped to his underwear, (sidenote: all of the instructors were college age white women so looking back this is funny as Hell to me. Having said that, I learned that day that cotton boxers get sheer when wet... I'm not sure... nah, it's even funnier now... anyhoo.) He jumped into ten feet and told me to swim to him and I did. The instructors actually started teaching the black kids too after that.

Granted there are other reasons, many that have already been mentioned, but I wonder how many black kids have taken swimming lessons and still can't swim because the instructor didn't bother.

What's silly about that is that you don't have to be able to passively float to be able to swim. Most people are pretty close to neutral bouyancy: They will float with a good breath of air, and sink if they exhale fully. Some people will sink slowly regardless of how much air is in their lungs, some will float regardless. I have been told (so it may be BS) that women tend to be more buoyant than men, because they generally have more body fat, but even if you are a "sinker" it takes only a little bit of hand or foot movement to keep you on top of the water. I don't know if there is any truth to the notion that black people tend to be less buoyant; I doubt that it's true, but it could be, but even if it's true, it doesn't mean they can't be taught to swim, and in fact, would be a good reason that they should be taught to swim.

Woolgatherer
6th August 2010, 02:20 PM
I've had life-saving classes, and one of the things they teach you is that going into the water to save someone should be the option of last resort. Whenever possible, you should try to reach them from the shore or the edge of the pool, with an arm, a leg, a board, a stick, arope or throw something that floats (tied to a rope if you can). Only if there are no other options, should you jump into the water and swim for them, and then only if you know how to properly rescue somebody without drowning yourself. Far too often a would-be rescuer ends up becoming another drowning victim, or in some cases, ends up drowning after the first person manages to save themselves.

Of course, you would have to think fast which I know is obvious. Having spent many evenings around children in the pool, it takes just a little bit of inattention to miss a kid in trouble. If you are on the shore fully dressed having just spotted that kid you have to make a decision (hookpole, lifesaver or jump) right then and there. If it's the baby pool I'd jump. A large pool I can see now that a rescue from the shore could be faster and safer. A river with drowning teenagers without an obvious rescue tool. OMG!

Pardalis
6th August 2010, 02:22 PM
It does not exist in Louisiana in July.

Having read this thread, I must say that Pardalis is being an ass.

If you had read the thread, you would have understood that I wasn't referring to this case specifically, I was only responding (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=6193000#post6193000) to the fact that you don't need to have extreme weather conditions in order to have hypothermia.

Mark6, another poster to file under the "can't read English" category.

quadraginta
6th August 2010, 04:33 PM
...
Certainly it is possible to hypothesize such situations, and I expect that anecdotes are abundant, but the only word to describe someone who attempts a deep water rescue of a drowning victim by going in the water after them without training is "stupid". "Foolhardy" isn't strong enough.


So you cannot imagine going after a small child? :rolleyes:


This sort of response does not reflect well on either your intellectual honesty or your real concern for the subject. It's just a petty way to try and score debating points.

Nonetheless I suspect I could uncover instances where the rescuer also drowned in such a scenario without too much difficulty. You see, it isn't necessarily about the nature or condition of the victim. If the would-be rescuer lacks the requisite skills they are merely compounding the problem.

This is sad, but it is also true. Sometimes life just sucks. Anyone who has been trained in rescue techniques has been taught this. And yes, they still have trouble believing. Anyone who has done it enough learns its truth from sad experience.

The instinct to 'do what you can', to 'save the day', to 'do something' is nearly irresistible and often overwhelms good sense. The results are frequently tragic, probably more often than they are helpful.

You are advocating a frame of mind and behavior which demonstrably increases the casualty count in accident situations. I find this unfortunate.

If someone doesn't have the knowledge, the training, and preferably the experience to attempt a rescue then the odds are good they will become a victim themselves. It's unclear to me why you believe this is something to be encouraged.

Skeptical Greg
6th August 2010, 04:44 PM
It takes mountains as a near enough source for a river to remain cold in a hot climate (relative to the speed of the flowing water). I've swam in both the Mississippi River where it was warm, and in the Colorado River in the scorching Arizona summer where the river was freezing cold.
Which mountains in Louisiana would that be ?

Kestrel
6th August 2010, 05:03 PM
If someone doesn't have the knowledge, the training, and preferably the experience to attempt a rescue then the odds are good they will become a victim themselves. It's unclear to me why you believe this is something to be encouraged.

Care to explain how rescuers get experience if they should not attempt a rescue when they don't have experience? :boggled:

quadraginta
6th August 2010, 05:20 PM
Care to explain how rescuers get experience if they should not attempt a rescue when they don't have experience? :boggled:


You mean, aside from the modifier "preferably"?

Sure. They begin by working with other people who do have experience.

Does that help, or do you need the concept explained in more detail?

Kestrel
6th August 2010, 05:29 PM
You mean, aside from the modifier "preferably"?

Sure. They begin by working with other people who do have experience.

Does that help, or do you need the concept explained in more detail?

You are confusing training with experience.

quadraginta
6th August 2010, 05:46 PM
You are confusing training with experience.


Somebody is. I'm pretty sure it isn't me.

Do you think that someone comes out of lifesaving courses and is left unsupervised in charge of a swimming pool? Do you think that freshly minted firefighters are sent off on their own without anyone who's done it before?

Are you just trying for semantic 'gotchas', or do you really think you have a point?

Certainly it is possible for someone to have knowledge and "training" and find themselves in circumstances where they need to employ them without the benefit of having exercised that "training" in concert with other personnel who have "experience".

It is preferable that they would have opportunities to do so first.

Capish?

noreligion
6th August 2010, 06:00 PM
It probably does. The first time I jumped in the ocean out on the Sunshine Coast it was 30 C and it took a week for my testicles to descend.

1.8 C + 32 = F. 1.8 x 30 = 54. 54 + 32 = 86. You have some mighty strange testicles.

Pardalis
6th August 2010, 06:02 PM
Which mountains in Louisiana would that be ?

Nobody is talking about Louisiana. Will you people realize the discussion hasn't limited itself to the story in the OP?

We're talking swimming in general, drowning in general, hypothermia in general.

Do I have to add you to the list of people who can't read English?

HistoryGal
6th August 2010, 06:51 PM
I'm taking mental notes. This would be an easier task if you're in a pool with clear water. A not so clear river with 7 drowning teens would be something else.

Absolutely - that's a swimming pool save. Maybe even an ocean save. I would never attempt that in a river. I would probably look for a long branch - I wouldn't risk my own life by going in the water.

Ferguson
6th August 2010, 06:52 PM
Swimming lessons? You don't have to do the butterfly stroke, just move your damn legs and/or arms. Even my dog could figure that out. Natural Selection FTW.

Quad4_72
6th August 2010, 06:56 PM
1.8 C + 32 = F. 1.8 x 30 = 54. 54 + 32 = 86. You have some mighty strange testicles.

Haha. I never bothered to do the math on that. That's pretty funny.

king catfish
6th August 2010, 07:06 PM
Hey Ferguson, come say that to my 5'9", 230-lb powerlifter face. I could not swim at all before some rudimentary lessons, but I'm pretty sure I can throw you and your cur through the nearest wall. May the strongest survive.

Travis
6th August 2010, 07:19 PM
Something I learned in Boy Scouts is that a person who kinda knows how to swim is the most dangerous as they tend to overestimate their ability to save themselves and others. A person who is drowning is in pure panic mode and will do all sorts of things that seems highly irrational which is why only someone who really knows what they are doing should attempt to swim out there to help them.

Kestrel
6th August 2010, 07:45 PM
Somebody is. I'm pretty sure it isn't me.

Do you think that someone comes out of lifesaving courses and is left unsupervised in charge of a swimming pool? Do you think that freshly minted firefighters are sent off on their own without anyone who's done it before?

Are you just trying for semantic 'gotchas', or do you really think you have a point?

Certainly it is possible for someone to have knowledge and "training" and find themselves in circumstances where they need to employ them without the benefit of having exercised that "training" in concert with other personnel who have "experience".

It is preferable that they would have opportunities to do so first.

Capish?

The OP was about teens drowning in a river, not a swimming pool staffed by lifeguards. It's a situation where the best hope is that some lay person at the scene has the skills to perform a rescue. Just as in most cases where CPR is needed, there isn't time to wait for the trained professionals. And just as with CPR, it's unlikely that the rescuer has prior experience actually rescuing someone. It's a case where you fall back on your training and use your head.

BTW - I suspect that most pool lifeguards have never done a deep water rescue except for training exercises. If someone gets into trouble, flotation rings and long poles are available.

Kestrel
6th August 2010, 07:48 PM
Something I learned in Boy Scouts is that a person who kinda knows how to swim is the most dangerous as they tend to overestimate their ability to save themselves and others. A person who is drowning is in pure panic mode and will do all sorts of things that seems highly irrational which is why only someone who really knows what they are doing should attempt to swim out there to help them.

Did you take lifesaving training in Boy Scouts?

Furcifer
6th August 2010, 07:51 PM
duplicate

Furcifer
6th August 2010, 07:57 PM
1.8 C + 32 = F. 1.8 x 30 = 54. 54 + 32 = 86. You have some mighty strange testicles.

30C outside, the water in Howe Sound 10C on the top 4'" layer.

This is Canada, our hot springs don't get to be 30C :D

Travis
6th August 2010, 08:01 PM
Did you take lifesaving training in Boy Scouts?

Me? Nope. I mean outside of their warning that just because you can swim doesn't make you like a trained rescuer.

quadraginta
6th August 2010, 08:09 PM
The OP was about teens drowning in a river, not a swimming pool staffed by lifeguards. It's a situation where the best hope is that some lay person at the scene has the skills to perform a rescue. Just as in most cases where CPR is needed, there isn't time to wait for the trained professionals. And just as with CPR, it's unlikely that the rescuer has prior experience actually rescuing someone. It's a case where you fall back on your training and use your head.



I know what the OP was about. Nothing about it, or anything you have said diminishes or negates any of my comments. Many lifeguarding environments are outside the confines of swimming pools. Many are not. I have worked in both. The similarities greatly outweigh the differences.

You do recall that the OP situation started out with a single person in danger of drowning, and ended with five dead "rescuers", don't you?




BTW - I suspect that most pool lifeguards have never done a deep water rescue except for training exercises. If someone gets into trouble, flotation rings and long poles are available.


I don't have any way to gauge the information you base your suspicions on. I base my statements on my experience. Rescue devices may well be available. That is not the same as always being useful. My first 'real live' deep water rescue was in the diving area of a public pool.

Kestrel
6th August 2010, 10:25 PM
You do recall that the OP situation started out with a single person in danger of drowning, and ended with five dead "rescuers", don't you?

Apparently none of the dead could swim. How do you get from there to a claim that being trained doesn't really qualify you to attempt a rescue?

quadraginta
6th August 2010, 11:06 PM
Apparently none of the dead could swim. How do you get from there to a claim that being trained doesn't really qualify you to attempt a rescue?


I have no clue, since I never made that claim.

It seems to be yours alone. Perhaps you will share your explanation.

steve s
6th August 2010, 11:08 PM
It takes mountains as a near enough source for a river to remain cold in a hot climate (relative to the speed of the flowing water).

Not if it's a spring fed stream. We've got natural springs here in Missouri that are ice cold even in July.

Steve S

Skeptic Ginger
7th August 2010, 12:00 AM
This sort of response does not reflect well on either your intellectual honesty or your real concern for the subject. It's just a petty way to try and score debating points.Get over yourself. My answer was a serious answer and had nothing to do with scoring points. I objected to the blanket admonition not to ever try to rescue anyone, and I still do.


Ever hear the blanket admonition that if you are in a fire and the door feels hot, don't open it? Well I had that very experience. Only there was a guy moaning for help on the other side of the door. I opened it and pulled him out. There was no backdraft movie explosion of flames erupting out of the door. And I didn't have to live with myself letting some guy burn up alive. Blanket admonitions are not always good advice.

Skeptic Ginger
7th August 2010, 12:01 AM
Which mountains in Louisiana would that be ?You misread my post. I never said there were any.

Fox
7th August 2010, 12:05 AM
Perhaps schools should start swimming lessons instead of wasting money teaching creationism...

Skeptic Ginger
7th August 2010, 12:12 AM
Not if it's a spring fed stream. We've got natural springs here in Missouri that are ice cold even in July.

Steve SThat goes with the point I was making. It depends on the source of the water, the speed it flows and the ambient temperature, not just the fact it is hot outside.

quadraginta
7th August 2010, 01:13 AM
Get over yourself. My answer was a serious answer and had nothing to do with scoring points. I objected to the blanket admonition not to ever try to rescue anyone, and I still do.


Ever hear the blanket admonition that if you are in a fire and the door feels hot, don't open it? Well I had that very experience. Only there was a guy moaning for help on the other side of the door. I opened it and pulled him out. There was no backdraft movie explosion of flames erupting out of the door. And I didn't have to live with myself letting some guy burn up alive. Blanket admonitions are not always good advice.


This is the same sort of pseudo-logic which people use to explain away a refusal to wear seat belts.

There are anecdotes which are at variance with just about every fact based recommendation. There are situations which can always be pointed to as exceptions, but they prove nothing beyond the truth that life is fraught with possibilities.

Firefighters tell people not to open that door because they've seen the body count, and want to keep it down as much as possible, not because they're trying to rob someone of their chance at heroism. Lifeguards tell people not to go rushing into the water to rescue someone without a full understanding of the skills required for exactly the same reason.

My admonition was strongly worded because it needs to be. People just don't get it. If you choose to describe that as "blanket" that's fine. If your objections are sincere then you are evidence of the very point I am trying to make.

Personally I think you're just trying to score rhetorical points rather than concede that you might be mistaken. This is even more unfortunate, because other people might be misled by your intransigence into believing it's okay for them to try and be a hero.

Anecdotes don't trump actuaries. A rescue situation is one which has already proven to be hazardous to at least one person. The idea that it is somehow going to be less hazardous for the next random person at the scene gets lots of extra people on the casualty side of the statistics. So does the hero instinct.

The incident which inspired this thread had six would-be heroes. All dead. Yes, it is an anecdote, too. Sadly, it is one which is backed up by the statistics.

noreligion
7th August 2010, 05:18 AM
30C outside, the water in Howe Sound 10C on the top 4'" layer.

This is Canada, our hot springs don't get to be 30C :D

You must be VERY short to keep your testicles within 4 inches of the surface :D

Quad4_72
7th August 2010, 08:50 AM
You must be VERY short to keep your testicles within 4 inches of the surface :D

Haha. I am still not following him either.

Furcifer
7th August 2010, 12:10 PM
You must be VERY short to keep your testicles within 4 inches of the surface :D

No normal height, but there's a survival instinct that takes over when you plunge into 10C water, you swim so fast you skip like a stone across the water.

Skeptic Ginger
7th August 2010, 02:00 PM
This is the same sort of pseudo-logic which people use to explain away a refusal to wear seat belts.OMFSM, talk about pseudo logic. :eek:

Describe a circumstance which a seatbelt should not be used that you determine based on evidence you can assess prior to putting the belt on, not based on some odds you've determined from too small a sample size.

Firefighters tell people not to open that door because they've seen the body count, and want to keep it down as much as possible, not because they're trying to rob someone of their chance at heroism. Wrong. The scenario of the hot door does not apply to a door where someone behind it is moaning for help. It applies to escaping a fire.

The backdraft senario is totally bogus. One of the main things you do to fight a fire is vent the hot gasses. That prevents flashover, it doesn't cause it. Flashover (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashover) occurs when the ignition temperature is reached, it has nothing to do with adding more air into a room. There is already plenty of oxygen there for combustion.

The fact I opened the door in the fire I described actually prevented flashover in addition to getting the guy out of the room. I didn't know that until later. The fire fighters told me later based on the estimated temperature of the room (the TV melted) that flashover was imminent. In the time it took me to open the door, pull the guy through it (fortunately he was on the floor right by the door) and shut the door again, enough smoke poured out to fill the 4 story rooming house hall and stairwell. Opening the door briefly prevented flashover by venting the hot gasses and lowering the room temperature just enough giving the fire department time to get there.

And another side note about the incident, the smoke alarms had not gone off until I opened the door. They went off and alerted everyone else (middle of the night everyone had been asleep) to exit the house. Only I, the person who discovered the fire and woke me up (I was the manager), and the guy in the room, were awake up to that point.

Ranb
7th August 2010, 03:17 PM
When I was in grade school, I had swimming lessons. I did poorly and stayed with the beginners as I was unable to master the crawl. I always inhaled too much water when trying to coordinate lifting my head to breathe, so I just kept my head up all the time while swimming free style. Floating was easy, and I would do it on my belly and back, but that was not enough to get me out of the beginners level and into the deep end. This did not keep me from swimming to the deep end while not in class and amusing myself by retrieving objects from the bottom of the pool. My brother performed about the same as me or a bit better in class.

When I was 12 or so, my brother and I were swimming at a lake. My dad was nearby but not in the water with us. I was in water up to my neck and my brother further out in water over his head. Suddenly he started to struggle and yell. I yelled for my dad and started to swim out farther to help out. My dad pushed a small rowboat into the water and quickly went out to pull him into the boat before I could swim out to help. My brother later said he just went under and panicked.

Later on I took scuba classes. The PADI swim requirement at the time (1984) was 200 yards with no fins or mask with no time limit. I came in last. They put me with the strongest swimmer in the group as a buddy and I got along fine as the point of recreational scuba is to take your time and not suck down all the air right away. I still do not swim well, but float just fine and enjoy the water very much.

Ranb

Kestrel
7th August 2010, 03:26 PM
When I was in grade school, I had swimming lessons. I did poorly and stayed with the beginners as I was unable to master the crawl. I always inhaled too much water when trying to coordinate lifting my head to breathe, so I just kept my head up all the time while swimming free style.

Did you ever learn to swim sidestroke?

Skeptic Ginger
7th August 2010, 05:43 PM
While this is off topic, I think it's important I post a link about Current Understanding of Flashover, Backdraught and other emergent Fire Phenomena (http://www.firetactics.com/SHAN%20RAFFEL%20IFE.htm)It is essential that the firefighter realises that this combustible smoke layer can ignite spontaneously when the AIT is reached (provided there is sufficient oxygen present). This can occur in the room of origin, or from the ignition of smoke that has drifted into other parts of the structure....

...Backdraft, or backdraught (English spelling) is a term commonly used in America. The NFPA definition for Backdraft is:

"The explosive or rapid burning of heated gases that occurs when oxygen is introduced into a building that has not been properly ventilated and has a depleted supply of oxygen due to fire." (Burklin, NFPA 1980)Flashover is still prevented by venting the hot smoke before it reaches the ignition temperature and adding oxygen does not automatically cause flashover.

Maybe I was lucky the smoke vented out the door rather than igniting, but I still cannot imagine not opening that door when I could hear the guy inside the room moaning and unable to exit the room on his own. And the firefighters did say venting the smoke may have prevented the flashover. No one told me I should not have opened the door.

Foolmewunz
7th August 2010, 06:40 PM
What should be a pretty clear cut thread somehow devolved into an I Know More About Life Saving discussion.

Kids should learn to swim. If you have kids and they can't - teach them. If you can't - take the class with them!

Marcello already knows the basics at 22 months and can dog paddle to mommy or daddy. We have a huge pool in our complex and we're going to live near the ocean in a couple of years, and he's going to know how to at least keep his head above water and tread same. I'm teaching him now how to turn over on your back and float. You can stay above water for hours like that. (I used to swim across a mile lake on my back doing that, and anyone who didn't know swimming or life-saving figured that was quite a feat. It's not. It's about tenfold easier on your back, if you're not racing the clock.)

In re the Great Pardalis Debates....

Sounds like Pardalis got good advice. My first lesson, at fourteen, in life-saving, was brilliant. All the kids, top swimmers in the school, lined up at the side of the pool, in street clothes. The instructor said, "Pass or Fail - save that guy!"... and he threw his assistant into the water.

"I said, 'Pass of Fail!"..... Now! We all jumped into the water in our street clothes to save the guy, who swam rapidly to the other side to avoid getting mauled by good intentions.

The instructor then had us line up again, sopping wet, and said, "You all failed." Good thing it's only the first test and you can make up for it. Let's do it again."

He shoved his assistant in the water again. Much flailing of arms and splashing and cries of "Help! Help!" The instuctor walked over to the wall, pulled down the pool cleaning net, reversed it and put the stick in front of the "victim".

"Grab on!"

"That's how you save someone, if you stop and think! Not only do you not get your pretty clothes all wet, but you probably avoid getting pulled under, too. Look at Tom - he's about thirty pounds heavier than any of you, and is a water polo player and weight lifter. If he panics, there's not much your pretty breast stroke is going to do to help."

I never forgot the lesson. Pardalis' instructor didn't say that knowing how to swim wouldn't help. He said that it's not necessarily a guarantee that you're going to be able to help or that you're even remotely more useful than someone with life-saving-technique knowledge. Seems like a similar lesson to the one I got.

Fatigue is a major factor. Recreational swimmers cannot keep a standard crawl going for long. Turn over and float on your back, and kick towards where you want to be. Your natural buoyance is far greater that way and you can breathe more easily and keep your flotation devices (your lungs) nice and full of air.

Quad4_72
7th August 2010, 07:35 PM
What should be a pretty clear cut thread somehow devolved into an I Know More About Life Saving discussion.

Kids should learn to swim. If you have kids and they can't - teach them. If you can't - take the class with them!

Marcello already knows the basics at 22 months and can dog paddle to mommy or daddy. We have a huge pool in our complex and we're going to live near the ocean in a couple of years, and he's going to know how to at least keep his head above water and tread same. I'm teaching him now how to turn over on your back and float. You can stay above water for hours like that. (I used to swim across a mile lake on my back doing that, and anyone who didn't know swimming or life-saving figured that was quite a feat. It's not. It's about tenfold easier on your back, if you're not racing the clock.)

In re the Great Pardalis Debates....

Sounds like Pardalis got good advice. My first lesson, at fourteen, in life-saving, was brilliant. All the kids, top swimmers in the school, lined up at the side of the pool, in street clothes. The instructor said, "Pass or Fail - save that guy!"... and he threw his assistant into the water.

"I said, 'Pass of Fail!"..... Now! We all jumped into the water in our street clothes to save the guy, who swam rapidly to the other side to avoid getting mauled by good intentions.

The instructor then had us line up again, sopping wet, and said, "You all failed." Good thing it's only the first test and you can make up for it. Let's do it again."

He shoved his assistant in the water again. Much flailing of arms and splashing and cries of "Help! Help!" The instuctor walked over to the wall, pulled down the pool cleaning net, reversed it and put the stick in front of the "victim".

"Grab on!"

"That's how you save someone, if you stop and think! Not only do you not get your pretty clothes all wet, but you probably avoid getting pulled under, too. Look at Tom - he's about thirty pounds heavier than any of you, and is a water polo player and weight lifter. If he panics, there's not much your pretty breast stroke is going to do to help."

I never forgot the lesson. Pardalis' instructor didn't say that knowing how to swim wouldn't help. He said that it's not necessarily a guarantee that you're going to be able to help or that you're even remotely more useful than someone with life-saving-technique knowledge. Seems like a similar lesson to the one I got.

Fatigue is a major factor. Recreational swimmers cannot keep a standard crawl going for long. Turn over and float on your back, and kick towards where you want to be. Your natural buoyance is far greater that way and you can breathe more easily and keep your flotation devices (your lungs) nice and full of air.

Yeah Im not sure how the thread got so long either. I thought it was pretty obvious that everyone should know how to swim but I guess not everyone agreed with that. Right now I am trying to teach my 4 year old. Well, I am not even at the swimming part right now. I am trying to get him to not be afraid of the water. He screams bloody murder if he goes to the pool. I have tried being nice, just throwing him in, holding him, giving him floaties, letting his mom try, letting his aunt try, little pools, big pools, being as encouraging as possible. I don't know what else to do except wait for him to get older. I am not going to give up, but you can imagine how frustrating it is everytime you take your kid to the pool having him scream like a little girl if he gets anywhere near the water. He even cries if you poor a bucket of water on his head in the bath. And showers are just crazy. Any advice? Sounds like your kid is on the right track.

Foolmewunz
7th August 2010, 07:50 PM
Yeah Im not sure how the thread got so long either. I thought it was pretty obvious that everyone should know how to swim but I guess not everyone agreed with that. Right now I am trying to teach my 4 year old. Well, I am not even at the swimming part right now. I am trying to get him to not be afraid of the water. He screams bloody murder if he goes to the pool. I have tried being nice, just throwing him in, holding him, giving him floaties, letting his mom try, letting his aunt try, little pools, big pools, being as encouraging as possible. I don't know what else to do except wait for him to get older. I am not going to give up, but you can imagine how frustrating it is everytime you take your kid to the pool having him scream like a little girl if he gets anywhere near the water. He even cries if you poor a bucket of water on his head in the bath. And showers are just crazy. Any advice? Sounds like your kid is on the right track.

My advice right now would be your proposed solution. Wait. Ideally, babies should be acclimated to the water before they know what you're doing to them - e.g. about six months. By the juncture where he's had the time to develop worries, it's pretty hard to order them or coerce them or con them. They've drawn the line already and try getting any three or four year old over that line, I dare ya!

Sometimes kids who won't chance a pool will take to a shoreline, though. My sister was like that. She gradually went out a half a foot farther until at about five she was finally standing chest-deep in the water. Of course, we had the Gulf Coast shoreline... when it ain't hurricaning on you, it's pretty calm. The Atlantic and Pacific are a little raucous for those purposes. (Or inland lakes... they have some very gentle "waves", although I'm hesitant to use that term.)

I'd say just wait him out. Plan fun around the water rather than planning fun around his desire to avoid it. If he sits on the sidelines enough, he may start gravitating towards the pool. If you avoid doing anything concerning the pool or swimming, then he's sort of won this little struggle, and that's not a good thing. You have to balance it, of course. You can't be seeming to be punishing him by doing pool/water things, and you have to make sure he doesn't withdraw from other social goings on if he feels like a complete outsider.

Quad4_72
7th August 2010, 08:08 PM
My advice right now would be your proposed solution. Wait. Ideally, babies should be acclimated to the water before they know what you're doing to them - e.g. about six months. By the juncture where he's had the time to develop worries, it's pretty hard to order them or coerce them or con them. They've drawn the line already and try getting any three or four year old over that line, I dare ya!

Sometimes kids who won't chance a pool will take to a shoreline, though. My sister was like that. She gradually went out a half a foot farther until at about five she was finally standing chest-deep in the water. Of course, we had the Gulf Coast shoreline... when it ain't hurricaning on you, it's pretty calm. The Atlantic and Pacific are a little raucous for those purposes. (Or inland lakes... they have some very gentle "waves", although I'm hesitant to use that term.)

I'd say just wait him out. Plan fun around the water rather than planning fun around his desire to avoid it. If he sits on the sidelines enough, he may start gravitating towards the pool. If you avoid doing anything concerning the pool or swimming, then he's sort of won this little struggle, and that's not a good thing. You have to balance it, of course. You can't be seeming to be punishing him by doing pool/water things, and you have to make sure he doesn't withdraw from other social goings on if he feels like a complete outsider.

Thats pretty good advice. I think that is probably the best bet at this point. He will run around in water that is about a foot deep but if he can't touch the bottom it is a done deal. I will continue to go to the pool but allow him to just play in the little kiddie part. We actually had a break through in the bath tonight though. He usually goes crazy when we wash his hair but tonight, he grabbed a wash cloth and squeezed it over his head and let the water run onto his face! Haha I know that sounds insignificant but with his water phobia it was a pretty good step forward. Next time I am going to encourage him to use his pale filled with water instead of his wash cloth.

Skeptic Ginger
7th August 2010, 09:31 PM
Marcello already knows the basics at 22 months and can dog paddle to mommy or daddy. Oh that is soooo cute. :)

Foolmewunz
8th August 2010, 07:25 AM
Thats pretty good advice. I think that is probably the best bet at this point. He will run around in water that is about a foot deep but if he can't touch the bottom it is a done deal. I will continue to go to the pool but allow him to just play in the little kiddie part. We actually had a break through in the bath tonight though. He usually goes crazy when we wash his hair but tonight, he grabbed a wash cloth and squeezed it over his head and let the water run onto his face! Haha I know that sounds insignificant but with his water phobia it was a pretty good step forward. Next time I am going to encourage him to use his pale filled with water instead of his wash cloth.

Oh, I know the washcloth-on-the-head breakthrough. Marcello got to loving water because we let him have control of the bathtub. Mommy doesn't have the patience for it, but I'll just let him go at it. All bathrooms in Hong Kong are wet rooms - they drain off - so I just let him soak the room and the pater and he has a ball. He also hated the shampooing, but when we gave him control of the bath/shower taps and he learned how to douse himself from above, he had a ball with it. But his first such breakthrough was the washcloth full of water on the head...

And I wasn't clear that he's actually just reluctant to go near deeper water. If he's playing in the kiddie pool, he's cool. He'll adjust.

Foolmewunz
8th August 2010, 07:27 AM
Oh that is soooo cute. :)

Yeah, I wish I had a waterproof camera. He has that same smile as in the avatar, but just merrily paddling away.... When he first did it, he was all concentration, now he's just having a ball with it.

Ranb
9th August 2010, 09:15 PM
Did you ever learn to swim sidestroke?

Not until years later.

Ranb