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Two Cold Dogs

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something that all of us that sail should probably read:

 

The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

 

How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

 

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

1.Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. Th e respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.

2.Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

3.Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

4.Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

5.From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

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Thanks. There is much there I didn't know.

 

I did know that victims rarely have any significant water in the lungs or airways after rescue or on autopsy, because the larynx goes into spasm preventing ingress. I guess this could be another reason drowning people can't call for help.

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Spot on.

During summers in high school and college I was a lifeguard at the city pool. It is most definitely not the posh Baywatch job most people think it is. On a hot summer day, there are hundreds of people in the pool. Unless you are looking right at them, you will not see a drowning victim. Your peripheral vision picks up movement, not stillness.

 

My method for spotting drowning victims was to look for people looking at the sky. It's instinct to try and keep the mouth above water by tilting the the head back.

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I once pulled a great big heavy guy out of the break zone on a very big east coast day. Probably 7 feet of water in the troughs. Guy didn't say a word, just had a look of abject terror in his eyes. No shouting, no thrashing, no clue, really, other than that look of fear. And the sky-look, too.

 

So yeah, at least from an anecdotal perspective, confirmation of the above. Good stuff, Moose.

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Wow, this post will probably save somebody's life. Good onya.

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Thanks, Moose.

 

Although being a good swimmer does not prevent drowning, it does reduce the risk considerably. I'm taking my 1.5yr old grandson to "Waterbabies" classes this summer. You can't start too early.

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An additional good cue is to look at their eyes (assuming you can see them). A person who is drowning (or believes they are drowning) will have eyes the size of silver dollars. Those of us who have spent time as lifeguards will never forget that look.

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I can vouch for this from personal experience this summer. We were white-water rafting and I got tossed from the raft at the top of a long class IV rapid. I managed to get into the position they encourage you to hold on the swim down the rapid, which is on your back with your feet up and facing downstream and arms out, but even with a lifejacket I struggled to get enough breaths, and of course was getting knocked around in the rapid, hitting rocks, getting dunked, etc. As it went on and on I got more and more desperate, only getting tiny breaths. I thought I was getting water in my lungs, but afterwards discovered that I just could not take big breaths. It seems my air passages were constricting. If the rapid had gone on another 100 yards I might have drowned. When I checked with my doc later for an injury to my back he asked if I also had a near-drowning experience, and I asked him why he knew. He said that the whitewater contains so much air one's body does not displace enough water to stay bouyant, hence almost inevitable drowning scenario, even with a lifejacket on. Two newly-weds on another raft also swam one of the rapids, and also had near-death experiences. Not sure I'll do much more white-water rafting after that.

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The description of the drowning person trying to breathe made me remember when I was somewhere in the 3rd gradeish age range, and my fat friend decided to get on my shoulders in the deep end of the pool. He didn't realize I could barely breathe, and neither did the lifeguard swimming 5 ft underneath me. I still remember that quite vividly.

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About Three PM, HOT, slow tidal current about ebb, just off the sand with enough wave bounce to pop to the surface 1 inch about his up tuned face I saw the toddler . Bouncing off bottom to the surface slowly going past the crowded ocean beach. Off the tower, on to the sand, a 35 yard sprint to him and its over.

 

As I turned to the beach from 4 feet out MOM came running to take the under 2 year old from me. Just as described above his arms were out stretched, body straight down and toes pointed down and a SCARED LOOK ON HIS FACE. As the current moved him down the beach no sound, no splashing , just a silent resolve to BREATH as he bounced up and his mouth broke the surface.

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great description! I once had to pull a family friend's daughter (6-7 at the time) out of the water not even 5m away from her parents as she kept gasping for air in breakwater - very similar to what was described above. It took a while to convince them their daughter was actually drowning, esp since she was in shock and didn't say anything, but once she started wailing and shivering it all became clear. It's amazing how you can simply 'watch' someone drowning and not even realize it.

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Thanks Moose for starting this important and timely thread! And thanks to everyone else contributing.

 

40 yrs surfing and 38 yrs sailing and this thread makes me all the more diligent in watching my 5 yo boy (re:fearless) around water. Swim lessons start in 2 weeks, I can't wait.

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One more thing I thought worth mentioning:

 

One of the most strictly enforced rules at the pool where I worked was the ban on any kind of flotation device. While it may seem counter-intuitive, before the rule was enforced, the tendency was for parents to put their kid in a life jacket, dump them in the pool and disappear. For that reason, if it floated it was banned from the pool. We put a special emphasis on water wings (those things that go over the arms) Water wings are probably the worst kind of flotation you can give to someone because they doesn't support the body or head -- only the arms. When the arms get tired, the body sinks and the arms get pulled straight upright. Then, the arms slide out of the wings and you have a drowned kid.

 

Flotation is no substitute for supervision.

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Finnaly something useful on this site. Great post

 

+1

 

Now someone start a thread on how to tell when a woman is having an orgasm.

 

 

Those who know the answer have learned by spending time and effort helping women to enjoy them.

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Thanks, good info. Unfortunately today I received an email from a friend whose 19 month old boy drowned in the backyard pool last weekend. It happens so quickly and so silently.

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Timing!

 

Yesterday I read chapter nine in Bill Barton's book, The Legend of Imp, that details Larry Klein's drowning in San Francisco Bay in September, 1994.

 

Today I went to the Sailing Pro Shop (Sailing Anarchy advertisers) and bought a Spinlock Deckvest (combination harness and inflatable PFD.)

 

Then I read this thread.

_____________________

 

By the way, I heartily recommend the book. Order it directly from Bill's web site: http://www.implegend.com/. I was ocean racing like crazy back in those days and Imp (and Improbable before her) fascinated me. Good read. Funny, interesting, informative, historical.

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I didn't know this either. Thank you Moose.

This definitely warrants sharing.

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Finnaly something useful on this site. Great post

 

+1

 

Now someone start a thread on how to tell when a woman is having an orgasm.

 

 

Those who know the answer have learned by spending time and effort helping women to enjoy them.

Lesson 1. Spend less time on SA.

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Spot on.

During summers in high school and college I was a lifeguard at the city pool. It is most definitely not the posh Baywatch job most people think it is. On a hot summer day, there are hundreds of people in the pool. Unless you are looking right at them, you will not see a drowning victim. Your peripheral vision picks up movement, not stillness.

 

My method for spotting drowning victims was to look for people looking at the sky. It's instinct to try and keep the mouth above water by tilting the the head back.

 

I did the lifeguard gig for a couple years too. You're right, it was nearly impossible to notice drownings in a pool with over a hundred people in it. When the pool was very packed, I just got into the habit of watching the bottom -- for better or worse -- it's hard to notice drownings at the surface, but it's easier to notice them on the way down.

 

Moose is right, a close friend once nearly drowned in a swimming hole in High Falls, I looked right at him and didn't think anything of it, then another friend jumped in from cliff and pulled him out. It was inconceivable to me that he could have been drowning and I didn't see it, if it hadn't been for the other friend (who wasn't a certified lifeguard, unlike me) my friend would have died. The stranger part is that nothing in the Red Cross of YMCA lifeguard program ever mentioned what Moose did, how to recognize a drowning.

 

Even more to Moose's point ... when I was getting my lifeguard certs, the instructor pulled out a newspaper clipping of something that happened that week, a man had drowned at a party of 100 lifeguards, and nobody noticed a thing.

 

From this site, same event:

In 1985, to celebrate their first drowning-free season ever, the lifeguards of the New Orleans recreation department decided to throw themselves a party. When the party ended, a 31-year-old guest named Jerome Moody was found dead on the bottom of the recreation department's pool. We suppose when it's your time to go, then it's your time to go: there were four lifeguards on duty and more than half of the 200 party-goers were themselves lifeguards!

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Does anyone have an attribution for the article?

 

'twould appear to be here by a USCG safety specialist, based on an article and research from 1984.

 

More info via google here.

 

Fascinating and informative reading.

Worth re-posting the links.

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Moose, as always, an enlightened post and topic. Very scary stuff and really great that you thought to post it here. Is this you or did it come from somewhere. I agree that it's important to go to club newsletters and also in class / fleet updates.

 

And re: Bill Barton's book, the Legend of Imp (while it is a hijack of the thread) is totally worth the read.

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Thanks, Moose.

 

Although being a good swimmer does not prevent drowning, it does reduce the risk considerably. I'm taking my 1.5yr old grandson to "Waterbabies" classes this summer. You can't start too early.

 

Totally agree - my son started lessons at 6 months. They just get them used to the water and teach some important basics like not getting into the water without their parents, how to hold onto the side and move along and how to get out of the water. Now I have a 4 yr old who is absolutely fearless and has no problems diving to 1.7 m - have to keep a very close eye on him. The amount of parents who put their kids into a life vest or something similar and just leave them while they drink coffee and chat is amazing!

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Moose, as always, an enlightened post and topic. Very scary stuff and really great that you thought to post it here. Is this you or did it come from somewhere. I agree that it's important to go to club newsletters and also in class / fleet updates.

 

And re: Bill Barton's book, the Legend of Imp (while it is a hijack of the thread) is totally worth the read.

 

 

Actually, a friend of mine posted it on her Facebook page, I thought it was very pertinent to the readership. Personally, I'm a very bad swimmer and have nearly drowned a couple times, always by being poorly prepared for situations and generally when it was blowing over 25. For this reason, my wife (also not a strong swimmer) and I put my daughter into YMCA swim lessons for three years to ensure that my stupidity, if passed down genetically, would be overcome by ability. I have had some friends drown (Larry Klein among them) and knowing that it's something that is preventable makes it that much sadder.

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Slightly off topic....A few years ago I had a very bad experience w a child's extrasport life jacket. Our house rules were that if you were on the pier, you had to wear a life jacket. It was summer(thank god) and my 3.5 year old son fell off our pier. What happened next blew my mind. The life jacket floated him face down. I jumped in and got him, after he calmed down and coughed out some water, I thought it would be prudent to get him back in the water. He took to it well. We did some tests that day in the water. Everytime I tried to get him to float in the lifejacket, he would eventually role over face down.

 

My son had a short body, and a big heavy head so it kind of made sense after the fact that the jacket would do this. He was in the middle of the weight range of the jacket and it was properly fitted.

I knew the jacket was not the type to pull his head out of the water but I never thought it would turn him face down.

 

I contacted extrasport and the coast guard about the incident via email. Thought it could have been a great learning opportunity especially since no one was hurt and I was not looking for any money or pay back. Extrasport did not respond to the email. The Coast guard did, and after a few email exchanges, said the life jacket was properly certified.

I offered to send video, they were not too interested. I asked them how many kids they tested the jacket on. If I remember correctly, I was told fewer then 10. I asked if they knew the weight and height range of the kids and asked if they make sure they have kids w varying body types. That is where the emails began to stop.

 

Moral of the story, if you have kids, test the life jacket for fit and function in the water. Don't trust a brand or a certification.

 

If he had fallen off of a sailboat, the minute it would take to get him would have made for a very different story.

 

A cheap life jacket from walmart worked much better for him.

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The video was done in Fairport, OH. Just east of Cleveland. It's done by the National Water Safety Congress and the Coast Guard. There's some anarchists in there if you look close...

 

Here's some info:

 

http://www.watersafetycongress.org/

 

and the youth program that teaches boating safety AND sailing:

 

http://spiritofamerica95.org/

 

There's been of metric shit ton of anarchists teaching the Spirit of America programs. I taught one almost 15 years ago.

 

Cheers,

 

midfleet

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So interesting and helpful. I agree this is a life saver. Thanks Moose.

 

A thing about boyancy, another little tip. Maybe everybody knows it. But I never heard anyone ever mention it.

 

 

When you're in the water, if you exhale you sink. If you inhale you float.

 

Try it out.

 

So, if you're ever in the water getting kinda tired, maybe a ways out from the beach or your boat, try to expand, or keep your chest expanded, and just breath with your diaphram. You get a lot of natural boyancy that way.

 

It works.

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Wow! Great post! I did not know any of that-even though it all makes sense. In the case of a little kid I might have thought they were getting their nerve up to go under water.

 

Something else that has been on my mind, and maybe someone with knowledge can post-is swimming around boat docks and boats that are connected to shore power. Here on Lake Travis I personally know of two deaths and a near drowning last week of a 13 year old girl because of electrical shock.

 

Be careful swimming around boats and docks!

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Slightly off topic....A few years ago I had a very bad experience w a child's extrasport life jacket. Our house rules were that if you were on the pier, you had to wear a life jacket. It was summer(thank god) and my 3.5 year old son fell off our pier. What happened next blew my mind. The life jacket floated him face down. I jumped in and got him, after he calmed down and coughed out some water, I thought it would be prudent to get him back in the water. He took to it well. We did some tests that day in the water. Everytime I tried to get him to float in the lifejacket, he would eventually role over face down.

 

My son had a short body, and a big heavy head so it kind of made sense after the fact that the jacket would do this. He was in the middle of the weight range of the jacket and it was properly fitted.

I knew the jacket was not the type to pull his head out of the water but I never thought it would turn him face down.

 

I contacted extrasport and the coast guard about the incident via email. Thought it could have been a great learning opportunity especially since no one was hurt and I was not looking for any money or pay back. Extrasport did not respond to the email. The Coast guard did, and after a few email exchanges, said the life jacket was properly certified.

I offered to send video, they were not too interested. I asked them how many kids they tested the jacket on. If I remember correctly, I was told fewer then 10. I asked if they knew the weight and height range of the kids and asked if they make sure they have kids w varying body types. That is where the emails began to stop.

 

Moral of the story, if you have kids, test the life jacket for fit and function in the water. Don't trust a brand or a certification.

 

If he had fallen off of a sailboat, the minute it would take to get him would have made for a very different story.

 

A cheap life jacket from walmart worked much better for him.

 

Thanks, I use extrsports. My oldest son is thin and lithe. We do lifejacket drills in the pool. we never had a problem with righting. My youngest son is a tank. He is about to graduate to a big boy life jacket. i probably would have figured it out because I do lifejacket drills in the pool at the beginning of the season; but stil......

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Thanks for the post Moose. I immediately send it to my club's Commodore and she immediately asked the newsletter editors to send a special email to all members BEFORE this weekends Holiday (in the US). I will never look at a pool or the beach as I have in the past. Have a happy 4th of July! Cheers, Winever.

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We lived on a lake as kids, swim lessons are one of my earliest memories. There was a move called the "dead mans float" that could keep you alive for a long time if you're tired. It takes advantage of the post above. Basically, take a deep breath and stop moving. You'll sink a bit, then pop right up to the surface, back up and face down, but high enough that you'll have time to exhale and inhale again. You get to the point where you're taking a breath every 45 seconds or so - and since you expend no energy - you can float for a long while if you aren't hypothermic or have another problem. I think the test was to do it for 5 minutes or so - and not tread water - maybe longer. It's very effective.

 

My kids have been in lessons since they were 6 months old - and the 4 year old has me nervous as well - no fear, fortunately, she can get her head up and breath. The 6 1/2 year old is just a fish.

 

I like the testing of the PFDs as well. Not sure why I haven't done that.

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Slightly off topic....A few years ago I had a very bad experience w a child's extrasport life jacket. Our house rules were that if you were on the pier, you had to wear a life jacket. It was summer(thank god) and my 3.5 year old son fell off our pier. What happened next blew my mind. The life jacket floated him face down. I jumped in and got him, after he calmed down and coughed out some water, I thought it would be prudent to get him back in the water. He took to it well. We did some tests that day in the water. Everytime I tried to get him to float in the lifejacket, he would eventually role over face down.

 

My son had a short body, and a big heavy head so it kind of made sense after the fact that the jacket would do this. He was in the middle of the weight range of the jacket and it was properly fitted.

I knew the jacket was not the type to pull his head out of the water but I never thought it would turn him face down.

 

I contacted extrasport and the coast guard about the incident via email. Thought it could have been a great learning opportunity especially since no one was hurt and I was not looking for any money or pay back. Extrasport did not respond to the email. The Coast guard did, and after a few email exchanges, said the life jacket was properly certified.

I offered to send video, they were not too interested. I asked them how many kids they tested the jacket on. If I remember correctly, I was told fewer then 10. I asked if they knew the weight and height range of the kids and asked if they make sure they have kids w varying body types. That is where the emails began to stop.

 

Moral of the story, if you have kids, test the life jacket for fit and function in the water. Don't trust a brand or a certification.

 

If he had fallen off of a sailboat, the minute it would take to get him would have made for a very different story.

 

A cheap life jacket from walmart worked much better for him.

I would take my kids when they were little and at the beginning of the year and put them in their lifejacket and pick them up by the arms and ease them into the drink to prove to them that the water was cold and not a place to fall into, to prove to them the lifejacket was VERY important, but mostly to insure myself that they would float the right way up. The looks of hate were priceless, but I've got two pretty good kids that respect the water and are top notch sailors.

 

TOG

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Scott, Clean, Dawg. How about a Safety Saturday once a month? Topics like the this one and the cold water diversion are all very good and VERY relevant. Some CPR, First Aid etc. could go a long way for some. I known from sailing in SF Bay singlehanded that I was going to gain some great knowledge on the cold water shit and I did.

 

Good stuff.

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Wow! Great post! I did not know any of that-even though it all makes sense. In the case of a little kid I might have thought they were getting their nerve up to go under water.

 

Something else that has been on my mind, and maybe someone with knowledge can post-is swimming around boat docks and boats that are connected to shore power. Here on Lake Travis I personally know of two deaths and a near drowning last week of a 13 year old girl because of electrical shock.

 

Be careful swimming around boats and docks!

 

There was a great thread on this in cruising anarchy a while ago but I can't seem to find it.

 

Maybe someone else can find it and post a link to it?

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Wow! Great post! I did not know any of that-even though it all makes sense. In the case of a little kid I might have thought they were getting their nerve up to go under water.

 

Something else that has been on my mind, and maybe someone with knowledge can post-is swimming around boat docks and boats that are connected to shore power. Here on Lake Travis I personally know of two deaths and a near drowning last week of a 13 year old girl because of electrical shock.

 

Be careful swimming around boats and docks!

 

There was a great thread on this in cruising anarchy a while ago but I can't seem to find it.

 

Maybe someone else can find it and post a link to it?

You have only to ask. (but you'll have to scroll up to the beginning)

 

There's another one here.

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Another big thank you Moose. I just sent it to our club for reproduction in the newsletter, and possibly inclusion on the website also.

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Wow! Great post! I did not know any of that-even though it all makes sense. In the case of a little kid I might have thought they were getting their nerve up to go under water.

 

Something else that has been on my mind, and maybe someone with knowledge can post-is swimming around boat docks and boats that are connected to shore power. Here on Lake Travis I personally know of two deaths and a near drowning last week of a 13 year old girl because of electrical shock.

 

Be careful swimming around boats and docks!

 

There was a great thread on this in cruising anarchy a while ago but I can't seem to find it.

 

Maybe someone else can find it and post a link to it?

You have only to ask. (but you'll have to scroll up to the beginning)

 

There's another one here.

Yea that's it, thanks!

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I've spent my whole life around cold water, drove myself to school by boat from age 5, and a good chunk of those two links was totally new information to me.

 

Big thanks for sharing it. I will be passing the info along to friends, family, and our local sailing club.

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I copied it and sent it to our Club Manager and Informadore.

I got into serious trouble back in college, along with some other friends, when we tried to swim out to a sandbar by the Pink Pony in Gulf Shores. It looked SO close and we thought it would be an easy swim. Turns out it wasn't as close as we thought and we didn't take into consideration the current. There was no way I would have had the breath to scream for help even though there were boats near us. Luckily, I managed to touch bottom right before I ran out of strength. Most of the drownings that happen around here are due to rip tides (or rip currents as they are now calling them).

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Wow, brings back some some very scary memories I had hoped forgotten. No, you CANNOT wave and yell for help, you are in fact, helpless. This will be forwarded.

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Middle-Aged Man Drowns Near Salmon Falls Bridge

Person Went Into South Fork Of American River, Dispatchers Say

 

POSTED: 2:48 pm PDT July 1, 2010

UPDATED: 4:44 pm PDT July 1, 2010

[email: Middle-Aged Man Drowns Near Salmon Falls Bridge] Email [PRINT: Middle-Aged Man Drowns Near Salmon Falls Bridge] Print

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EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. --

A 50-year-old man drowned Thursday near the Salmon Falls Bridge in the south fork of the American River.

 

Dispatchers got a call at about 2:30 p.m. that someone went into the water and hadn't been seen.

 

He'd been swimming next to an anchored boat with several other people, but didn't come back up.

 

The man's body was pulled out of the water at about 4 p.m.

 

The man drowned in a cove in the west side of the waterway.

 

Stay tuned to KCRA 3 and refresh KCRA.com for the latest information.

 

 

 

He stepped off the back of the boat to "cool off". Water is snow melt and about 45°. People were sitting in the boat watching him drown. 15 feet of water.

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  • 2 weeks later...

2 Dead After Boat Flips At Point Reyes

Coast Guard: Boaters Didn't Have Life Jackets

 

POSTED: 4:44 pm PDT July 14, 2010

UPDATED: 9:14 pm PDT July 14, 2010

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POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. -- Two people are dead and two others are missing after a boat capsized Wednesday in heavy surf off Point Reyes.

 

Two people who were recovered by a Coast Guard lifeboat were taken to the Coast Guard Station in Bodega Bay, where they were pronounced dead.

 

Neither person had a life jacket, the Coast Guard said.

 

Rescuers are still trying to find two other people.

 

The capsized boat was reported to the Coast Guard by another vessel in the area shortly before noon.

 

Point Reyes National Seashore spokesman John Dell'Osso said the boat that capsized was a sport fishing boat.

 

Parts of the capsized boat have washed up along more than a mile of shoreline at 10-Mile Beach, also known as The Great Beach, Dell'Osso said.

 

The Sonoma County Coroner confirmed late Wednesday that one of the men who died was from Riverbank, Calif. He said the man was in his 60s and was part of a large group that meets annually. The other man, the coroner said, was from Arkansas and his family is driving to the area to confirm his identity.

 

The area is in the breeding habitat of the western snowy plover, a small shorebird that was added to the federally threatened species list in 1993, and there is concern about the effects of the helicopter noise on the breeding birds, Dell'Osso said.

 

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office sent its helicopter to the scene and the personnel from the Marin County Fire Department and the National Park Service are walking along the shore looking for the victims, Williams said.

 

Copyright 2010 by KCRA.com, Bay City News and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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