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  • Heather Murray

Parents Preventing Childhood Drownings presents Sunday Survival Stories: Floatation Devices

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-lethal 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 the brave action of a Marine who used his training and skills to rescue a couple when their kayak flipped in rough water.

While water safety guidance does not promote entering dangerous water yourself, we are glad that Cpl. Jordan Perez had the training and skills needed to complete this water rescue. What we really want to promote here is his great use of floatation devices to complete this task. He used the kayak to return the female to safety and then returned to put a life jacket on the male to assist with his swim to safety. These are great ways to use floatation devices in a rescue! However, a great layer of protection we would recommend to anyone out in open water- swimming, kayaking, or even while on a boat- is to be wearing your life jacket the entire time. In most instances, you will not have time to put on a life jacket when an emergency arises, so you should be prepared from the beginning to prevent drownings!

What should you do if you notice someone struggling in the water? Follow the Reach, Throw, Don’t Go approach to help while staying out of danger and becoming another casualty. Reach for the person if you can, throw out something that will float on the water to help the person stay above the surface, but don’t enter dangerous water yourself. Call 9-1-1 or alert local rescue like a designated lifeguard.

Look for items that float when in a water emergency. Have fun, be safe, and wear your life jacket from the start!

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