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Sbaker777 t1_jddzdsf wrote

As a former lifeguard, I would recommend that no untrained person try to save anyone over 50lbs without a very floaty object. You’ll probably both drown. Even with all my training I’d strongly hesitate to go in after an adult with no flotation device on me. (You’ll read in this article that the girls had a flotation object: smart as shit) They’ll flail and push you right under.

If you decide not to take my advice, keep as much distance from the person as you can and approach from the back, put your arms under theirs and swim backwards with them.


Jaque8 t1_jded9h4 wrote

My good friend is a highly experienced waterman and lifeguard and said the same thing, that even he wouldn’t attempt a rescue without a flotation device unless he outweighed/overpowered them by a LARGE margin. He was basically saying he’d let someone like me drown but would save a kid or a woman <140lbs. He said if you do find yourself in that situation then dive DOWN and they’ll let go, someone drowning doesn’t want to go deeper they want to stay on the surface.

I was cliff diving in hawaii with a friend and his teenager just a few months ago, his kid started seriously struggling on the swim back in and needed help… That advice above kept going through my head as I approached him. He’s 16 years old but plays football and is pretty fucking strong for a kid, probably a solid 170lbs+, Thankfully he wasn’t in full panic mode yet and he listened to me while I put him in an assisted backfloat to rest while I swam him in… But if he had panicked and grabbed me I was fully ready to dive down and swim away. I don’t know if I would’ve just let him drown as I don’t think I could live with the guilt just watching from a short distance, but fuck what else can you do?? Just glad he worked with me and didn’t fight me and I didn’t have to make that decision.


Sbaker777 t1_jdehgv1 wrote

Agreed with all points and neglected to mention if you do find yourself saving someone, you did the exact right thing. Communicate with the person you intend to help. Talk to them, tell them you’re here to help and to let you take control. Though this won’t work a lot of the time but still.


Queendevildog t1_jdfbvjr wrote

The only time I ever rescued anyone I grabbed a random styrofoam floatie board without asking. My daughters friend had an asthma attack while swimming in a lake. Maybe 200 feet from shore. I paddled as fast as I could and got her on the floatie until a boat got to us. It happened so fast. If there's kids or even young teenagers in deeper water having a floatie and constant vigilance is a must. I was the adult in charge and to this day it gives me the willies. What if I didnt have a floatie? Or was distracted? It could have been very bad. I dont think it would have ended well without the floatie.