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Drowning doesn't look like drowning - Input Junkie
July 7th, 2010
06:08 am

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Drowning doesn't look like drowning
Here's what it really looks like:
* Head low in the water, mouth at water level
* Head tilted back with mouth open
* Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
* Eyes closed
* Hair over forehead or eyes
* Not using legs – Vertical
* Hyperventilating or gasping
* Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
* Trying to roll over on the back
* Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

People who are actually drowning don't have the resources to thrash around and yell for help. Someone who's thrashing and yelling could well be in enough trouble that they should be helped, though.

Link thanks to Johanness Dahlquist at Less Wrong.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:asakiyume
Date:July 7th, 2010 10:31 am (UTC)
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That is terrifying (the article even more so, as it goes into the state of the person who's drowning), both because it reminds me of my own brush with drowning as a kid, and because it makes me realize how impossible it is for a parent watching children play at the beach (which is me, once a summer) to tell when they're in trouble unless I have an eagle eye on ALL of them. Otherwise, you're likely to think a person dipping under quietly is doing so intentionally.

Terrifying.
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From:heron61
Date:July 7th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
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Useful knowledge that I previous had no clue about.
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From:osewalrus
Date:July 7th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
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A rather narrow definition of drowning. Is a person "suffocating" only when they run out of air and start to show the signs of true hypoxia, or as soon as they start indicating they cannot breath?

The information of the less stereotypical signs of drowning is useful. But I would still call a person thrashing about and screaming that s/he is drowning and in need of help "drowning" rather than split hairs on the subject.
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From:nancylebov
Date:July 7th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
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From the article:
This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

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From:yahalomay
Date:July 8th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
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I found this article on a friends' list - thank you so much for posting it. I am training to be a primary school teacher, and I have 3 young siblings. I never knew this, and I'm glad that I do now. Thank you so much.
From:wolfdancer
Date:July 8th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)

drouding on dry land

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look for this too in peaple on day to day dealing with day to day things.
we see peaple drownding ever day and do not know it.
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