Health & Safety

July 3, 2014

Drowning: You probably have no idea what it looks like

Tags:
Benjamin Newell
Air Combat Command Public Affairs
080801-F-9528H-004
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.


 
 

 
FoodBank_pict

Commissary food bank donations top 4 million pounds

FORT LEE, Va. – In a classic case of a crisis creating an opportunity, the government shutdown of 2013 served as a catalyst to revive donations from military commissaries to local food banks, with the stores donating more tha...
 
 
DoD
Equality_pict

Women’s Equality Day commemorates history, bridges future leaders

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 26, not only commemorates the ratification of the 95th anniversary of the 19th Amendment — which solidified women’s voting rights — but it also coincides with...
 
 
DoD
ArmyDepot

Army Depot explosion in Japan remains under investigation

WASHINGTON — The cause of an explosion and the resulting large fire at a storage building early today at the Army’s Sagami General Depot in Sagamihara City, Japan, remains under investigation, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt....
 

 
AAFES_pict

Shopping the Exchange pays $224 million in dividends

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service paid a dividend of $224 million in 2014 to morale, welfare and recreation efforts for the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. In the past 10 years, the Exchange has prov...
 
 
3D_pict

To print a missile: Raytheon research points to 3-D printing for tomorrow’s technology

The day is coming when missiles can be printed.  Researchers at Raytheon Missile Systems say they have already created nearly every component of a guided weapon using additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3-D printing...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash

AF Senior leaders give State of the Air Force address

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III held a State of the Air Force address at the Pentagon, Aug. 24. The first topic of discussion w...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>