Learn how to save someone from drowning using land-based water rescue techniques. Land-based rescue techniques are safe to use by almost anyone. Here they are in escalating order, i.e., only use the second one if the first doesn’t work.
The information in this post is from the book “Swim Workouts and Water Rescue Skills” by Sam Fury.
Land-Based Water Rescue Techniques
Watch the victim as much as possible while preparing his rescue. This way, if he goes under you can tell others the best place to look. If a second person is present have him watch the victim while you find equipment and/or help.
Shout and Signal
Your victim may be in a panic. Sometimes giving simple instructions will be enough for him to save himself. Get his attentional by waving and shouting. Then, in a loud, clear voice, tell him to kick his legs and push towards you or the nearest safe spot (waters edge, shallow water, etc.).
Look for something the victim can use to float on and throw it to him. The object must be small enough for you to throw but buoyant enough for the casualty to use as a float. Aim it so the victim can reach it, but do not hit him in the head. Allow for wind and current and aim upstream of the victim. Once he has the object, instruct him on how to paddle to safety. Unless it presents more danger, he should swim with the current.
Tossing a rope is also considered a throw rescue. Throw one end fo the rope to him and then help to pull him to safety. Stay back at least 1 meter from the water’s edge to prevent you from falling or getting pulled in.
Find something that you can reach out to the victim with from dry land, e.g., a stick. Lie down at the edge of the water while reaching out. If possible, also hold onto something. Lying down and holding onto something prevents the victim from pulling you in.
Photo Credit: Alejandro Pena.
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