Drowning doesn't look like drowning

Mario Vittone
Swellnet Dispatch

The 'instinctive drowning response' involves very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple 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 couple. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, "Daddy!"


The involuntary drowning response stops people from raising their arms when in trouble

How did this captain know – from 50 feet away – what the father couldn't recognise from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognise 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 then you should make sure that you and your crew know 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, PhD, 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: in the United States it is the number two cause of accidental death in children aged 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.

According to the CDC, in 10 per cent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening.

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. The 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 towards 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.


Video footage of child displaying 'instinctive drowning response'  as nearby adults remain oblivious

This doesn't mean that a person who is yelling for help and thrashing isn't in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn't last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can do things such as grab lifelines or throw rings.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK, don't be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don't look like they're drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.

One way to be sure? Ask them, "Are you all right?" If they can answer at all, they probably are.

If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why. //MARIO VITTONE

Comments

KillJoy's picture
KillJoy's picture
KillJoy commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 11:49am

The most informative editorial piece I have ever read about drowning. Breath (excuse pun) of fresh air compared to the literary garbage that is normally put on this web site, they should sack them all and put you on full time!

PooStix

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 11:53am

Erm, "literary garbage"? Sure you're on the right website?

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 12:18pm

You're on swellnet, not the inertia killjoy

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 12:32pm

Anyway back on topic.. what a great read.

I had the pool given the once over safety check a few months ago (new NSW laws etc) and the bloke told some scary stories about drowning.. just how silent it is when a child falls into a pool. Very sobering stuff.

mrkdevelopment's picture
mrkdevelopment's picture
mrkdevelopment commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 12:38pm

I had one recently when I was on holidays. In a pool in North Queensland. Everyone was watching one lady saying to themselves "I wonder if she is OK". I just grabbed her knowing this stuff and pulled her up out of the water. She was just about to drown and had lost the energy to lift herself out of the water. Was pretty scary for everyone around cause know one caught on that she was drowning and she could have just drowned with everyone watching her not catching on that she was in real trouble.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 1:10pm

In the surf it's even more difficult as a current is moving them and the arm movements are all over the place. Great article and well described. It's amazing how many people don't know how to read the currents or water near the shore.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 1:26pm

Great article. I was at a BBQ years ago with a pool with a blind spot and the owner knew it and advised me to make sure I could see my young kids at all times. I was a little blasé being so familiar with the water and knowing they had kickboards etc. until he followed up with the advice "you won't hear a thing if they get in trouble" - it really sunk in. On another day I was watching my daughter edge her way around a pool hanging on to the side. She reached a water vent which pushed her a few feet off the edge. I was only a few seconds away from her and saw it all happen but had time to see her silently struggle just as the article described - no words, no splashing just ineffectual dog paddle. I reached her easily before any panic and only I knew the significance of the event.

Oddly Bondi Rescue has opened my eyes to just how easily drowning can occur in small surf. Being a surfer it is easy to view small rips and waves as no big deal but this showed me how people almost drown in tiny conditions. I am much more aware of this now.

Frogg

KillJoy's picture
KillJoy's picture
KillJoy commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 1:37pm

yea, your right, I forgot I was dealing with a tabloid surf rag. Maybe Mario sent the editorial to the wrong website Ben.

PooStix

deckstrus's picture
deckstrus's picture
deckstrus commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 1:38pm

Great article

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 1:52pm

This article hits with a bit more force than expected as just last Friday I was involved in a similar scenario to the opening paragraph.

My six-year-old ran ran into the surf ahead of me while I mucked around on shore. Despite being only a couple of metres away and in full view I watched as a local lifeguard (Jake Spooner) bolted past me into the surf. Clearly he was seeking to rescue someone but I couldn't see anyone in need.

Then, just like in the opening para of the article, it dawned on me that he was 'rescuing' Sam. However, unlike the article Sam wasn't actually drowning at all, though he was dog paddling in water deeper than his height. We had a chat about it. Jake was cool, Sam was cool, the two of us even went back out for a surf.

Later I got to thinking why Jake was so pro-active. Like, surely a pro lifeguard would've known Sam wasn't in trouble? Was he jumpy about the recent drownings?

Makes a lot more sense now.

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 2:13pm

I was pretty blase myself around the water, even after having pulled a few people to safety over the years. However, that completely changed one day when i got to someone who was already unconscious and tried in vain to get some air in them and get them to shore. Even in a small swell it was difficult to move the waterlogged and limp body and it took far too long. You're counting the seconds thinking maybe they have 30 seconds but this must be taking minutes and you still have a long way to go. The sad thing was it happened in front of a full beach who didn't notice anything at all (I was paddling back to shore after a surf).

Apart from how silent and unnoticable it was from the shore, the other thing I realised was how different rescuing a conscious from an unconscious person is (near impossible without good equipment, training, fitness and a lot of luck). I've no doubt that's why the lifeguards come down like it's a mad race even if things are OK, if they don't get the conscious body the effort to save an unconscious body so much greater.

Keep an eye out for people in trouble, not only are they hard to spot, but once it goes that little bit too far they are also close to impossible to rescue without the lifeguards.

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 2:25pm

Frog, I've come to think that people drown in small surf as they try to reach shore and lose their footing, a small wave hits them in the back of the head just as they are gasping for air, they inhale some water and get more desperate and panic, it happens again and they are disorientated and exhausted but the waves keep coming and shore doesn't get any closer. Without someone specifically looking for the subtle signs of someone drowning it's all over, on a pleasant beach day just off the shoreline with people all around.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 2:36pm

Climbing the Ladder. That is a sign lifeguards are mostly taught to look for. Vertical in the water, moving hands up and down, not a lot of kicking. But be quick, at that stage you have very little time.

I pulled a kid out of the wave pool at Wet and Wild who was climbing the ladder. He was barely disturbing the water. I yelled at the three life guards chatting at the side of the pool about 6 metres away from the child. Couldn't get them to react. I then put my head down and swam the 30 metres and lifted the child up out of the water. He was shaking. He was seconds away from sinking below. The life guards (teens doing a holiday job) looked on shocked. I gave them a little educational talk.

The wave pool is quite deep towards the wave producing end. The child must have jumped in from the side and immediately found himself out of his depth.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 3:10pm

Great article, thanks guys.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 3:47pm

Rescued a clubbie once! Six foot heavy closeouts with big gaps between sets. Out he came on a ski in a nice calm spell then turned for shore not looking back just as a huge set approached (clearly visible on the rocks of the headland). Quite funny for a while (can still picture looking down the face of the first wave of the set at him as he finally turned his head and spotted doom looming up behind him). Not so fun heading into the impact zone to help him.

Helped an overweight kid out of a rip once and it was so hard to get any movement towards the beach despite having my board. Prevention is better than the cure.

Frogg

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 4:03pm

Years ago was standing on the dunes looking at back point watching my young bloke float around on his boogie board in tiny surf,just standing there talking to a friend when i noticed a whirl pool rip start to carry him around the corner of the rocks, so quick and it was only seconds really that he panicked and fell off and was in all sorts of trouble.Well i couldn't believe how long it took to sprint 50 meters and then wade out into deep enough water to start swimming....he was alright but i learnt a big lesson then and there to stand as close to your child as you can because things can go south real quick.

simba

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 4:09pm

Also had a friend who along with his cousin were sitting overlooking his pool when his cousin caught his son by the arm and said 'wheres your sister' he replied by saying she was in the pool......gone in behind them climbed down the ladder and sunk to the bottom.....she was standing on the bottom moving her arms up and down and luckily hadnt opened her mouth...so lucky and they were only a few meters away...the silent killer......

simba

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 4:12pm

I have lost count of the rescues I have done over the years. Most weren't really very dramatic but a couple stand out, the kid having an epileptic fit, the guy with a huge laceration in his calf, the one who couldn't get into the cave at Ulu on high tide. The most recent was an 80 year old caught in a rip that the lifeguards had failed to notice. The one I would like to forget is the English tourist who was clinically dead by the time we got him to the beach. He survived, thanks to the resus expertise of a passer by but as mk1 said back there, dealing with an unconscious patient is a whole different game. And the stress when you realise they are not breathing is not something you forget easily. Probably explains why I am so unsympathetic to those I rescue. I really don't want to drag in someone who doesn't survive.

Johannesfusk's picture
Johannesfusk's picture
Johannesfusk commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 4:20pm

Was at a bbq once with adults and kids. I was standing besides the pool (1ft from edge) talking to a mate. No one swimming. The pool had one of those inflatable crocodiles in it. A young boy around 6 comes to the edge about 2 foot from us with the intent of grabbing the croc. We had our backs to the pool so we weren't watching the pool. No one was watching the pool. Something clicked in my mind and at the same time, my mate who is was chatting with had the same thought..."where is that kid?"

Turned around and the kid is in the deep end, under water, desperately trying to reach the croc but not getting close. We reached in and dragged the young fella out...who was coughing up water and maybe 5 seconds away from losing consciousness.

We didn't hear him fall in while attempting to reach the croc and we didn't hear him struggling. Pretty hard when he's underwater from the get go. Total time frame...30 seconds. Another 5 - 15 seconds he would've been in big trouble!

This was a very scary event. The parents freaked as they were only 15 ft but had no idea where he was. It can happen so quickly and it's silent!!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 4:33pm

Bloody hell, another drowning today. ABC News:

“A man believed to be in his 50s has died after being pulled from the surf at Umina beach on the NSW Central Coast.”

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 4:38pm

Wow Umina under a NE swell. Would have been no surf there.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 5:11pm

He could have been swimming around The Rip. Deadly when the tide starts to move!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 5:15pm

This is true.

trippinpete's picture
trippinpete's picture
trippinpete commented Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 at 1:59pm

it was low coming up to mid tide with very little water moving around. Nice shallow bank with a slight gutter. Bit of a head scratcher.
Tons of people around but no one noticed until it was too late. This is a great article and should be circulated through general media. The more people aware the better

Stj's picture
Stj's picture
Stj commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 5:56pm

Getting back to pool toys. Some of those things are bloody dangerous! Little kids can get stuck under them so easily. Even more so if they are using a Floatation aid on their backs or the like.

If your at a barby and your young kid is the pool do not!!!!! leave them unsupervised!!

Was at friends pool yesterday and the kids that live there got foamy surfboards for xmas with leg ropes , I,m their watching my four year old like a hawk and in no time the kid with the board for chrissy with the leg rope on gets tangled in the bloody pool cleaner!!!! Two Adults in the pool were not onto it at all!!! I alerted the parent to it and it was all good but you have to be on the alert all the time.

Sunny

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 6:31pm

the silence of the event is very relevant. I had a freak accident many years ago when glassed in fins were all we had. I paddling out at low tide Tamarin Bay, about 6ft waves. I'd turned my board upside down to save the fins and was in about 2ft of water when a 1ft set came through. I paddled over it but a confluence of events: shallow reef, angle of swell, suck caused by inverted board, whatever? Anyway as the wave hit my board, a lump of water rose into the air and; as I'd kept paddling with my mouth open, as came down into the through the whole lot went down my throat. It was like I'd just swallowed a jug of beer...and then it went into my lungs. I stood up as it was only 2ft deep but couldn't breathe at all. No one around me. I thought I was going to die. I vomited the whole lot up over the next few minutes and then went for a surf and couldn't really explain into anyone, as it only lead to laughter. On reflection that night, it made me realise how quickly you would die once your lungs filled with water. Horrible experience. I've been on the look-out for the silent tragedy ever since; helped with a few.

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 10:55pm

Fantastic article. I've got two young kids just learning to swim and I didn't even realise that I had been "dramatically conditioned" by TV and Hollywood into a false idea of what drowning looks like.

Also, props to everyone for sharing their powerful accounts of close calls and rescues. For every one person that posts a comment, I'm sure ten more are reading and filing away the lessons learned.

andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt's picture
andrew-pitt commented Monday, 9 Jan 2017 at 11:09pm

Thank you Mario. That is an excellent article. Explained so well. Your message is worthy of much broader circulation
Sadly a young Polynesian fellow drowned at South Maroubra a few days after Christmas. Waves under shoulder height. But a rip next to the headland, running with all the force of the Tasman sea sucked Tui and his mate seaward in seconds. It was 8.30 at night. Close to dark. Tuis mate was saved by an unknown hero worthy of many medals. Tui didn't make it. These kids could swim. But not good enough. And that rip wasn't doing a loop out the back and bringing them shoreward like the clubbie posters say.
The family is gutted. The locals are gutted.
The demographics of the city are changing but I don't think the school education system is responding

Hako o hakonde ni-biki no inu's picture
Hako o hakonde ni-biki no inu's picture
Hako o hakonde ... commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 7:15am

Good article.

Jeez Blindboy your ego Knows no boundaries does it, you should wear a cape to the beach :-)))

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 8:51am

Thanks Mario, very informative.

Recent drownings, Gravelly beach up here at Norah Head, 30 year old drowned while snorkelling!!!!!! 19 year old kid pulled unconscious from the water at Coogee the next day. Noticeable as I was in both locations within 12 hours of events.

How does a 30 year old die while snorkelling? I ask that genuinely and with sincere condolences to the friends and family. Would like to know as my whole family enjoys snorkelling, hard to work out how it came to that, other than taking a big breath to do a dive and then blacking out underwater.

So many drownings this year. Hard to fathom why. Perhaps the lack of swell has seen more inexperienced people in the water.

Beats's picture
Beats's picture
Beats commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 9:33am

Unfortunately ignorance is rife In many parents- not just immigrants and non swimming people. Last autumn helped to get a fully clothed Indian out of Austi north end rip, his wife and family on the beach oblivious - playing with my 7 year old in the sand watching this bloke wading in knee deep, he stepped off the bank got sucked out. Another surfer came charging down with his board, took us a while to get him to shore - 2 surfers with boards in neck deep water.

He never made a sound but had the same "instinctive drowning response" and l later reflected how quiet and surreal the event was. About an hour later I saw him in the car park and he waved and smiled!

You media people should give this article to ACA or the like so it can get broader exposure reducing ignorance in the community - especially parents with young children. Great information Mario!

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 9:46am

Batfink, like most people here I have been snorkelling all my life and started to get more into it a few years back, leading to doing a freediving course. Mainly I did the course to learn better equalisation techniques but came away with a whole new appreciation for safety when snorkelling. What I didn't know about the risks astounded me. Very brief summary from the top of my head:

1. If you don't spend twice as long on the surface as your dive, and at least 2 minutes, you won't have cleared old air from your bloodstream before you dive again. Meaning you are building up used air (carbon dioxide/monoxide?) in your blood drastically increasing your chance of blackout.
2. When you pass out underwater your jaw normally locks closed. If you have a snorkel in, it's a direct tube past this mechanism into your lungs. Always dive with the snorkel out.
3. If you do dive deep, it's the last bit of the ascent where the pressure drops away that causes the most risk as the depressuring of your lungs draws oxygen out of your bloodstream back into the lung cavity - leading to shallow water blackout. Conversely it's much more difficult to black out while deep/descending as air is being forced into your bloodstream.
4. I've started doing a lot of snorkelling in swell around rock ledges, and the surge and rebound of swell across the mask and into the snorkel can be surprisingly disorientating even if you are normally very confident in the waves. Even in a small swell surging against a rock ledge.

I'll probably think of some other things later but constant up and down shallow diving/breath holding with the snorkel in seems to be the most common issue. You see people doing this constantly, completely oblivious to the risks.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 9:56am

In Sydney the population growth away from the coast has far exceeded that along the beaches. As a result, at this time of year, when many people travel to the beaches, the proportion of inexperienced beach users is greater than at any time in the past. And that's before you allow for tourists. Same thing applies at holiday towns. Hence more drownings.
I am also extremely skeptical about the value of a lot of the surf safety programs. A little knowledge can lead to the type of dangerous over-confidence that can be seen every day where I live.

surfinado's picture
surfinado's picture
surfinado commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 10:03am

I'm just stoked to read how many surfers have saved people...it may be our greatest gift to give. I felt lucky to be there for an 88: two fat ladies at Palmy SLSC GC. I shouldn't have been surfing through the flags, but if not then I wouldn't have heard her scream, put her on my board and happened on her friend flailing on the other side of the rip. The whole time as I pushed them in they cried, "Where are the lifeguards?" Asleep in the van, apparently - "I just rescued two people in the flags and you didn't see a thing?"

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 6:43pm

Literary garbage...

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 10 Jan 2017 at 9:33pm

Stevie Smith.....

Searlo's picture
Searlo's picture
Searlo commented Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 at 7:49am

This article makes a very good point. Last weekend I rescued young two girls from a rip at Carrickalinga Beach with their Mum unaware until I was dragging both of them (extremely tired girls aged about 8) across the rip and back into shore. I see the two big mistakes all the time. 1. Parents think because they are on the beach there kids are safe, but are they really watching and ready to swim out there in the first instance? 2. Swimming against the rip depleting their energy quickly.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 at 8:11am

One small clean afternoon at Waitpinga Point.

Surf was only 1-2ft or so and full so me and my mate went bodysurfing on a bank just off the point, while a deep channel and rip ran off the inside the sandbank out past the point.

My little brother who is fairly capable in the ocean and waves (not a surfer) was on the inside of the sandbank playing around and slowly with the waves and current, was unknowingly swept off the bank, straight into the deep water channel and rip.

Me and my mate heard something but as we were swimming and heads were at ocean level, we couldn't see anything.

We then heard yells again and I saw my brother panicking and taking in small gulps of water from only the smallest of wave action in the rip while also drifting out to sea.

I yelled to him to relax, swim towards us/where the waves were breaking and get back onto the sand bank so he could be washed in.

It really showed him and me how someone who grew up with summer holidays down the coast since a baby can still easily get into trouble.

Also the panic made it worse, taking short breaths while swimming under small waves and gasping after each one.

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 commented Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 at 8:54am

It was good he had the capacity to yell out Craig. That was probably from the experience in the water, being able to catch his breath, keep his head up and have the sense to yell out while he was in trouble. He also had the sense to face the waves and swim under each one as it came rather than turned to the shore oblivious to the wave action.

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn commented Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 at 11:04am

Thanks for publishing. Indeed those of us who do love the surf and have spent a lifetime in it can see a little further ahead than others. I've read the string and can see some commentary on 'surf safety programs' and of course 'clubbies' as well as 'life guards'.

We're a broad church people's! There's geese (more than the odd goose) in SLSA and in the water surfing every day and each weekend. We've all pulled someone from the water, what we will remember is if they do need EAR or CPR (or both) do we have the skills to provide it?

As Molly would say, 'do yourself a favour' and bring your skills up to speed. That person who desperately is clinging on to life will forever be grateful to you. Over & out.

The U Turn
...a little Aloha goes a long way.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 16 Jan 2017 at 8:41am

I don't read the Sunday Telegraph, however my wife buys it for one of the supplements. Thought I would thumb through it and found two stories by two different journos (ha!) on different pages basically regurgitating the content of this article.

They work hard for their news at News Limited.

No attribution to swellnet or Mario Vittone.

Surprised they both didn't have the 'exclusive' tag on them.