Sometimes people incorrectly assume that those who get into difficulty or drown in water intended to be in the water, had gone for a swim or involved in water sports ….in fact that is not accurate. The highest incidence level in the UK is actually from people slipping or tripping when out walking or running.
So what do you do if you fall in ?
if it’s not deep, then hopefully you can get yourself out, but take care if you have swallowed or inhaled water…you may still need to seek medical attention
If it’s deep or you can’t exit and if you have a companion they can obviously help or shout to attract other passers by attention so someone knows you are in difficulty and can ring to get help….that doesn’t mean phone a mate, that means ring 999 if inland ask for the Fire and Rescue Service or at the beach/ coast ask for thé Coastguard
However In the event you are alone you need to think ‘Float to live’ and if you haven’t seen the RNLI video…watch it, this technique saves lives and buys time. (Link below)
If you do have someone to help and they have rung the emergency services, you can ask them to try and throw you any nearby PRE …public rescue equipment…many water ways now have life buoys/rings or throwline boards ….failing that a ball or something else that floats, just to help you keep you head above water as you can quickly tire in cold water or if you have tried to swim or been treading water.
Or they may be able to reach out to you with an object…a fishing pole, a long branch, an oar or anything close at hand so you can be pulled in ….
We don’t advise other people to jump in and try to rescue you, but if they do, don’t panic and try to grab them….or we risk having two casualties….stay calm and allow them to assist if they can to help keep you afloat or get you to the shore/ waterside.
If you do get out before the emergency services arrive, then try and get warm if you can as shock may set in…..if you are not out of the water and they need to perform a rescue don’t panic as they may need to get into special rescue kit or get rescue equipment out before they can perform a rescue.
Knowing what to do can make all the difference …save a life …take 10 minutes now to ensure you know what to do. Also we encourage everyone that can to learn CPR and basic first aid….knowing what to do if someone goes into shock or has suffered trauma or has a heart attack can also save lives.
Watch the video below now….know how to Float…..even if you don’t need to do it personally you may have to help someone that has fallen in.