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  • Heather Murray

Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning Presents: Sunday Survival Stories: When to Float

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!

Today’s story features a college swim captain. After years of dedication to the pool and honing her skills, she finally saw the reward for the hard work, but it wasn’t in a pool. It was on vacation, when she saved group of 3 from drowning.

Here are a couple takeaways from this story to help keep you and your loved ones safer the next time they swim:

1: Pay attention to the markers around a swim area. Some natural bodies of water use a flag system where various colors equal different recommendations on how safe it is to swim. Look for memorial markers. This article mentions that there is a special memorial for those lost swimming in the area. Take this as a red flag. Is there a safer place you could be swimming?

2: Know your swim abilities and the capabilities of those swimming with you. Have you discussed things like currents and rip tides? Does everyone know how to spot one and what action to take if they are in one? Are you prepared to swim in conditions provided by different natural bodies of water?

3: In an emergency, float. Learning to float is a necessity for any swimmer. If a swimmer finds themselves tired or in scary/fast-moving water, they should float on their back. This allows them to save energy and breathe until they are in calmer water and can swim safely to shore.

Look for red flags, know your abilities, and learn to float. Have fun, be safe, and float!

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