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  • Heather Murray

Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning Presents: Sunday Survival Stories: Saving with Surf Boards

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-fatal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love. Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!

On January 6th, high school senior Tyler Badet headed out on his normal routine. It wasn’t raining, so he was going surfing. He had no idea entering the water that he would play an important role in saving two people’s lives that day.

This article and Tyler himself bring up many good layers of protection to help prevent a drowning.

One thing the reader may have noticed is the reference to the illegal cliff-jumping site and the fact that previous injuries and rescues have happened in the area. This is important knowledge for someone to know before deciding to swim. Always research new potential swim locations and ask if there have been previous incidents (fatal drownings, water rescues, or other water injuries). Also research the available help and response times for these incidents.

In the article, Tyler evaluates his own swim abilities. This is another important step when deciding where to swim. Do you have experience swimming in fast moving water? Do you understand how the water acts in the area you are swimming? Are you used to swimming in natural bodies of water or a pool? Always evaluate your own swimming abilities as well as those who are swimming with you and pick the best place to swim. Gradually increase your confidence in natural bodies of water vs moving straight from a pool to water full of movement.

Finally, and very importantly, Tyler points out that he was very careful to use his board while helping others in this water rescue. By using something that floats, in this case his surfboard, Tyler was able to help the two swimmers stay afloat until safety arrived without putting himself in danger. Instincts can make a victim clutch on to their rescuer and increase the chances of both drowning. If you see someone in danger in the water, remember Reach, Throw, Don’t Go. Reach for them if you can, throw something out to help them stay afloat, but don’t go in the water yourself and also enter danger. Go get help.

Tyler was a true hero when he saved these two from drowning. His history with the water let him make intelligent decisions in the moment that saved lives. Way to go Tyler!

Use layers of protection to evaluate where to swim and how best to help others in water danger. Have fun, be safe, and enjoy some safe surf time!

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