This is what you need to know to... Avoid Being Next!
Wearing a Life Jacket Can Save Your Life - Available in high definition.
To ensure you survive unexpected slips or falls overboard wear your life jacket, because it buys you time to be rescued. It only takes an adult an average of 60 seconds to drown and on average it takes 10 minutes for a strong swimmer to put on a life jacket after entering the water. If you will not wear it for yourself then wear it for those who love you. Great information on life jackets can be found at www.pfdma.org/.
Never Exceed Your Swimming Abilities or Swim Alone
Regardless of how well you swim you could have to fight for your life due to unexpected conditions such as waves, current, or exhaustion. A fellow swimmer can help you out when you encounter the unexpected. Remember your swimming abilities are likely to decrease with age so don't overdo it.
Alcohol and Water are a Deadly Combination
When underwater and under the influence of alcohol or drugs you can suffer from an inner ear condition (caloric labyrinthitis) that causes you to become disoriented and not know which way is up. Also, boaters can develop "boater's hypnosis" a condition in response to sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion which causes fatigue and slows your reaction time. Combining that condition with alcohol or drugs greatly reduces your coordination, judgment and reaction time, which could lead to deadly consequences. www.boatus.com/seaworthy/magazine/2011/j uly/alcohol.asp
Your Involuntary Gasp Reflex Can Kill You
A sudden unexpected fall into cold water causes an involuntary gasp (or torso) reflex. It takes less than 1⁄2 cup of water in your lungs to drown. Your gasp reflex is delayed when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can lead to a last breath of water, instead of air. Falls contribute to 19% of all water-related fatalities on Corps-managed waters. www.oregon.gov/OSMB/safety/coldwaterimme rsion.shtml
Proper Rescue of a Person Overboard
Many drowning victims are within 10 feet of safety, having unintentionally entered the water. You should never go near anybody struggling to stay afloat because you could drown too! To help rescue someone extend a pole, stick, line, or clothing to reach them or throw something floatable to them. The "Reach, Throw, Row, Go for Help" rescue method is used to avoid multiple drownings. www.army.mil/article/51402/reach-throw-r ow-dont-go
Drowning is a Silent Killer
An estimated 60% of all drownings are witnessed, because people are unable to identify the four signs of a drowning victim. Signs are head back (bobs up and down above/below the surface), mouth open, no sound and arms outstretched moving simultaneously in an above-the-water, up and down stroke that appears as if they are slapping or playing in the water. http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/
Be Aware of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning
CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can harm and even kill you while you are inside or swimming outside of a boat. CO is lighter than water so it invisibly hovers on the water's surface. Prevent the unexpected by learning more about where CO may accumulate and CO poisoning symptoms.
Take a Boating Course
Learn valuable tips that can help save your life in unexpected situations by taking a NASBLA (National Association of Boating Law Administrators) approved boating safety course. Many insurance companies offer discounts to boating safety course graduates. In addition, many states require a boating class for operators under a certain age. These are offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, state agencies, and on-line at www.boatus.org/onlinecourse/default.asp or www.americasboatingcourse.com.
Learn to Swim Well and Practice Floating
Besides wearing a life jacket, learning to swim well is one of your best defenses against drowning. Also, teach those you love and practice simple survival floating skills; remembering how to relax and float when exhausted can save your life. Swimming in natural or open waters is not the same as swimming in a pool. The USA Swimming Foundation works with local partners to offer free swimming lessons. Find a location near you at http://swimfoundation.org/Page.aspx?p....
Watch Your Children
You may not expect your child to reach overboard or turn the boat key to see what might happen so be alert. It takes an average of 20 seconds for a child to drown so always make them wear a life jacket and never take your eyes off of them around water.
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This work, USACE Water Safety - MG Michael Walsh, by Mary Cochran, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.