Basic Skills On How To Rescue A Drowning Victim


To make an attempt to rescue a person on the verge of drowning requires a high level of skill and should never be attempted without proper awareness.

A drowning victim is probably the most dangerous person to rescue. In a panic, such a person is likely to cling to the rescuer for personal safety, thereby also endangering the life of the rescuer.

It is not safe to attempt to a direct rescue of a conscious victim, most especially a fully grown adult. At the point of drowning, such a person holds on to anything to survive.


* The first thing is to get someone else to call an emergency number. Give words to see if there is a lifeguard around the vicinity of the incident.

* Wear a personal flotation device if available. Make sure you do not become a victim yourself in the process of rescue.

* If the victim is still conscious, try reaching out with an object that is rigid or strong for that the person to grab on. A rope or wood can be thrown to the person if nothing else is available and gently pull to shore.

* As an untrained rescuer, a rope should be tied around your waist before heading to the victim and have someone onshore or nearby boat as the case may be holding onto the rope. Objects like a pole can also be reached out to the victim.

* The rescuer should not attempt to directly touch a panicking victim.

* Gently pull the victim to shore if unconscious, as there might some injuries to the body i.e. neck, which could be as a result during the struggle to save his/her life.

Read also: Learn CPR To Save A Life

* Once on shore, a basic first aid action should be performed. Observe for symptoms of hypothermia and cloth victim with a blanket.

* If upon observation the victim is found not breathing, you can administer CPR.

* Having done CPR on victim, monitor conditions till emergency arrives.

Basic tools for rescuing a drowning victim

* Life jacket

* Rescue hook

* Life belt

* Personal flotation device (Used by rescuer)


* Rope

* Thick wood

* Long pole

Safety Tips

* Medical attention is needed for all drowning victims no matter how light the case may be. There are occasional situations where victims experience dry drowning where even small water in the lungs can be fatal.

* Closely watch anyone who chokes on the water while swimming, especially when swimming in anything other than a pool.

* Swimmers should be orientated on the need to swim in areas protected by lifeguards.

* If an unconscious victim is found in the water, it is best to assume such a person has a neck injury. The rescuer is advised to handle such persons with care so as not to aggravate any injury.

* Avoid swimming in places that have been marked as dangerous spots or deep ends if you are not a very good swimmer.

* Monitor little kids while in the pool. They should never be left unattended or without supervision and should be worn a life jacket for safety.

* Upon rescue, assume that the victim might have a body injury. Care should be taken especially around the neck to avoid further complications or harm.

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