How do people drown?

Alena Anisimova
Alena Anisimova
April 17, 2013
How do people drown?

Drowning is often a deceptively silent process. No splashes, arms waving and screaming, which we all used to see in films, almost never happens in real life. But how do people sink and how to recognize a drowning person?

The danger of suffocating with water (real or apparent) causes an instinctive reaction of a drowning person in humans, which can be characterized by the following actions:

  • A drowning person is not physiologically able to call for help, because in order to do this, you need to be able to breathe.
  • A drowning person cannot swing his arms to call for help. Instinct causes him to spread his arms in different directions to push off from the water, thus trying to push the body upwards to take a breath.
  • A drowning person is not able to control the movements of his hands and physiologically cannot begin to make meaningful movements, such as waving his arms to call for help.
  • During the continuation of the instinctive reaction of the drowning person, the body is vertically in the water, without any supporting movements with the legs.If a person is not saved, he may be in this position for 20-60 seconds before being fully submerged in water.

There are also other signs that a person is drowning:

  • The head is held low in the water, and the mouth is at the water level.
  • He opens his mouth, his head tilts back.
  • Eyes do not focus, look glass and empty.
  • Closes his eyes.
  • Hair in the eyes or on the forehead.
  • It is located vertically in water, it does not use legs.
  • Gasping for air.
  • Trying to roll in the water on his back.

How to save a drowning man

When you swim up to the drowning person, come in from behind, as in a panic a person will try to grab at you and may start to drown you. Position the rescued person above yourself so that you float under it. In the chest area, take it under your arms. Or else (if a person prevents you from saving him) you can grab his hair. Act on the situation. But remember, his nasopharynx should be above water. Do not forget about yourself. If rescued in a panic grabbed you so that you are not able to swim, you can bite him.