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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Alystria Maurer)

Dietary Supplements: Safety still an issue

SAN ANTONIO — Being a Servicemember is as physically demanding, at times, as being a professional athlete. As a result, Servicemembers are especially conscious of physical training requirements and the need to remain fit and ...
 
 

Suicide prevention more than a month-long campaign

WASHINGTON (AFNS)  — All Airmen have a responsibility that lasts much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in September, the month-long event is a reminder of everyone’s 24/7,...
 
 

Suicide prevention takes courage, communication, official says

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Veterans Affairs Department has named September National Suicide Prevention Month, but the Defense Department continues its year-round, comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to address the issue of suicide in the military, a Pentagon official said Aug. 21. Army Lt. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, military deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for personnel...
 

 

Tobacco use harms military readiness, official says

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Because tobacco use is harmful to military readiness, the Defense Department has an added responsibility to curb its use, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said today, noting that service members are more likely to use tobacco products than civilians. Tobacco use can lead to excess oral cavity disease and...
 
 

Your benefits: TRICARE standards and access to care

Since the TRICARE Prime benefit was first introduced in 1995, the Military Health System has established standards by which we hold ourselves accountable for access to health care. The standards are straightforward. If a patient enrolled to a military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) needs to be seen within 24 hours, an appointment will be made...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

Preventative healthcare: Key to overall wellness

Preventing an illness before it even arises is one of the surest ways Airmen can maintain their health. These preventative measures range from receiving vaccinations, physicals and cancer screenings, to maintaining healthy eati...
 




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