How to Keep House While Drowning


Before an emergency strikes, practicing your family’s escape plan is wise. Be sure that everyone knows two routes out of every room, and windows can be opened easily with screens removed quickly. Furthermore, have a charged cell phone on hand and keep it within easy reach to report your location clearly to emergency operators.

1. Stay near the water

No matter whether it is being practiced at the pool, floating down a river, or just splashing around in your backyard – water safety must always remain top of mind. Drowning is a severe risk affecting kids and adults of all ages alike – not only at public pools but also when heading out onto lakes or rivers for floating trips or boating trips, where dangers may increase more rapidly than at a traditional public pool.

As someone in distress may not yell for help due to having all their energy diverted to keeping themselves afloat, be vigilant and listen closely for signs that they need help. If you see someone struggling in the water, try reaching them with something floatable (stick, rope, or empty gallon jug) so they can return toward shore as quickly as possible.

Be careful if entering the water to save someone unless you are a trained lifeguard – as it is far too easy to drown yourself trying to rescue another accidentally. Deep waters with hazardous waves or currents present additional risks when trying to save. If someone appears drowning, call 911 immediately; otherwise, follow CPR guidelines (two rescue breaths followed by 30 compressions) until emergency responders arrive.

2. Keep your head above water

Rescue organizations advise drowning victims to try to keep their heads above water as much as possible to reduce heat loss and increase chances of survival. One effective technique is pushing down with arms while gently kicking your legs until your nose and mouth are clear of the water surface. Once this has been accomplished, take deep breaths until all your lungs have been filled; your full lungs will act like balloons to increase buoyancy, keeping you buoyant longer and increasing your chances of survival.

Sisley and Krenz have seen it all — pool drownings, lake accidents, friends lost in rivers, and family members needing rescue from swimming holes. Over 25 years, they have also served on local and county volunteer rescue squads, providing water rescue services.