Health & Safety

June 20, 2013

Drowning: You probably have no idea what it looks like

Tags:
Benjamin Newell
Air Combat Command
Drowning_pict
Children and males are frequent drowning victims, according to the Centers for Disease control. Victims frequently disappear beneath the water without drawing attention to themselves.

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va., — In two recent examples of vigilance, Air Combat Command Airmen have discovered that drowning isn’t always accompanied with shouts and thrashing. Victims sometimes slip silently beneath the water, or struggle to the point of exhaustion without raising an alarm.

In one recent incident, an Office of Special Investigations agent, trained by the Air Force to see what others don’t, saved a drowning child who was motionless underwater. An Airman at the beach near Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., saved a man who was suspected of mixing alcohol with water sports.

“I got up and started walking towards the edge of the pool,” said Special Agent Christopher Martin, assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB, who was at a pool in Marana, Ariz. “I walked probably 35-40 meters when I realized that it was a child, a brother of one of my son’s friends. I thought to myself, ‘This kid is just holding his breath, playing with his friends,’ because there were a couple of kids about 10-15 feet from him.”

He’d been under water for approximately four minutes before anyone noticed what had happened.

Experts in the field of drowning, recently published in the U.S. Coast Guard’s On Scene magazine, say that victims can rarely call for help. Their instinctive response is to use the arms to stay afloat, rather than signal. They remain vertical in the water, and struggle to get their mouths above the water’s surface.

Males and children are most at risk of drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Alcohol use is also cited as a significant factor, as was discovered by a Tyndall Airman recently.

“I noticed a guy floating out to sea caught in a rip current, while his family members yelled for help from the beach,” said Technical Sgt. Timothy Martin, 325th Training Support Squadron quality assessment evaluator. “I saw he was struggling to stay afloat so I ran over to another family that had a circle ring that I knew would keep me and him up, and I asked to take it to help the man and took off…When I got to him, I grabbed his hand and wrapped it around the tube. He was very fatigued, and he almost immediately shut down.”

Both victims are reportedly fully recovered, but the CDC says that more than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency rooms require hospitalization. Brain damage and other long-term impacts are common.

The CDC has further tips on natural and man-made water recreation area risks. Each present unique threats.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Maintenance versus repair … of our Airmen

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — This commentary is not about aircraft, vehicles, or even any mechanical components. It’s about our Airmen and how we manage their care and development throughout their careers. The maintenance versus repair concept is borrowed from the maintenance community and speaks to how maintenance managers plan, coordinate and...
 
 
DT_pict1

354th Bulldogs improve in-flight sight

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron Bulldogs began flying with a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue se...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols)

Your estimated wait time is…

Did you call the Enterprise Service Desk yesterday, but you’re still on hold today? The Communications Squadron will be uploading the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application to computers base wide. 1st Lt. Brooke Leigh, ...
 

 

Face of Defense: Shooting victim seeks to inspire others

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – An Army officer who was severely wounded in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, last year is using his near-death experience to give others a new lease on life. “I believe I was given a second chance,” said 1st Lt. John Arroyo, who is recovering at Brooke Army...
 
 
AFAS_pict

AFAS steps up with education programs

Education can be a key to succeeding in life, especially for military members looking to make the Air Force a career. The costs associated with getting an education are on the rise, but the Air Force Aid Society can help take s...
 
 
Fuel_pict

Exchange offers full-service refueling to drivers with disabilities

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, with the support of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, is adding a new system to gas stations on military installations worldwide to make it easier for drivers with dis...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin