Despite how it’s often depicted in movies and on TV, drowning is not the violent struggle that most of us imagine. In fact, it’s really almost the opposite. Hit the link and read the full guide for tips on how to recognize the Instinctive Drowning Response.
We’ve all been conditioned to believe that a drowning person will flail about, scream out, and otherwise draw attention to themselves so they can be helped. On the surface that would seem to make sense, if we were stuck out in a lake or struggling in the deep end of a big pool we’d certainly make a scene to get some help. Except drowning doesn’t look like the dramatized version you see in movies. Drowning in real life is so undramatic that 10% of accidental drownings happen within 25 yards or less of people who could have helped. The following guide to recognizing Instinctive Drowning Response is excerpted from On Scene (Fall 2006), the journal of the U.S. Coast Guard.