Understanding Drowning Signs and How to Help: Lessons from a Recent Rescue

Understanding Drowning Signs and How to Help: Lessons from a Recent Rescue

One of the keys to water safety is understanding drowning signs and knowing how to help. No matter how you’re having fun in the water, it is important to keep your wits about you at all times. Staying out of harm's way is crucial whether you are swimming, surfing, or simply wading in the ocean.

A recent rescue by a famed surfer teaches the importance of knowing how to help during an emergency. Understanding drowning signs can spell the difference between life and death. Recently, a heroic act by a Jersey Shore surfer, Brendan Tighe, shed light on the importance of being prepared to spring into action during danger to someone in distress in the water. Read on to learn more.

Understanding Drowning Signs can be Tricky

In the movies, drowning is often shown as a wild struggle. The victim will flail his arms and scream for help. This can help with the drama of fiction, but reality is quite different.

According to the CDC, drowning is usually silent. Instead of yelling and thrashing, victims are likely unable to call out or wave for assistance. Staying afloat can be exhausting work. In these cases, the victim may appear to be calm on the surface but desperately struggling beneath the water.

This brings us to today's heroic story. Our surfer hero, Brendan Tighe, was able to use his experience understanding drowning signs to recognize a dangerous situation. He noticed a man in distress who wasn't able to call for help. With quick thinking, Tighe was able to rush into action.

It's crucial to be alert for signs such as a person floating face down, bobbing in the water, or appearing to be "climbing an invisible ladder." These subtle cues could indicate a life-threatening situation.

Read the full story of the rescue here.

Taking Action Quickly and Effectively

When someone is drowning, every second counts! As we mentioned, Tighe's quick intervention was critical to saving the struggling swimmer's life. He didn't hesitate to paddle over and offer assistance.

Immediate action in an emergency is key, since the chances of survival decrease significantly the longer a person remains submerged. Keeping this in mind, it's essential to act decisively and efficiently in these situations.

Basic Safety Precautions for Swimmers

Tighe's brave rescue serves as a reminder of the risks associated with swimming in the ocean, particularly in cold water. As highlighted by Belmar chief lifeguard on the scene, Harry Harsin, the combination of hot weather and cold water can increase the risk of hypothermia, leading to life-threatening situations.

Furthermore, the absence of lifeguards can further increase these dangers. Swimmers should always assess their abilities and limitations before entering the water, and avoid swimming alone or in hazardous conditions. Above all, no person should swim or surf in waters without a lifeguard present.

Surfing Safety Tips

Of course, beyond swimming, we shouldn’t never neglect basic surfing safety! After all, drowning danger can happen to anyone... even surfers. While it is an exhilarating sport, riding the waves comes with its own set of risks.

Before hitting the water, surfers should always check weather and surf conditions. Beyond that, wearing the right safety gear, including a leash and wetsuit, are important. Finally, being mindful of their surroundings is crucial. Hazardous obstacles in the water can include other surfers, boats, rocks and reefs. 

Additionally, maintaining good physical fitness and receiving proper training in surf etiquette and water rescue techniques can further enhance safety while riding the waves. Understanding drowning signs and how to help are also important here! To learn more, read our full blog post about surfing safety

Knowing How to Respond Saves Lives

Depending on the situation, sometimes surfers, like Brendan Tighe, find themselves in a unique position to help. As we saw in this story, their familiarity with ocean currents and strong swimming skills make them valuable assets in rescue situations. When interviewed, Tighe implored his fellow surfers to remain vigilant and ready to intervene. This greatly underscores the importance of community awareness and preparedness.

While surfers may not be obligated to act as lifeguards, their skills can make a significant difference in saving lives. By understanding drowning signs and taking swift action, we can all play a role in preventing water-related tragedies. Whether you're a surfer, swimmer, or beachgoer, being prepared to respond to emergencies can make all the difference in saving lives.