Drowning can be deceptive

Published: Wednesday, 28 July 2021

A PERSON drowning does not flail their arms and shout as generally thought.

Drowning can be deceptive as Mario Viffone, a water safety expert tells, as there is no flailing of arms or shouting as depicted in films and televisions dramas, and explains.

A deceptive quiet event

Drowning is not the violent splashing and calling for help as most expect, as it is a deceptively quiet event as there is very little splashing, no waving and no shouting for help of any kind.

It is the number two cause of accidental death in the world for 15 year olds and under, with around 750 drownings expected this year.

Unable to call out for help

A person drowning is unable to call out for help as the respiratory system is designed for breathing with speech its secondary overlaid function.  Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs, so with mouths below the surface then above surface a person must inhale quickly, then press down with the arms on the surface of the water in an attempt to keep afloat, with no shouting or waving.

The struggle can take from 20 to 60 seconds before drowning.

Could be drowning

In these hot days when children take to the canals and rivers to cool-off, those accompanying should bear this in mind, for a seemingly safe, quiet event, causing no alarm, could be a drowning...