Monthly Archives: July 2010


Drukknun er ekki eins og drukknun

Translations: – English -  汉语 - tiếng Việt – Español – Français – Português – română – Deutsch – Svenska – Čeština – Русско – Audio Version Hann stökk alklæddur út í sjóinn, - skipstjórinn, fyrrum björgunarmaðurinn. Hann hafði ekki augun af manneskju, synti að fólkinu sem svamlaði milli fjöru og bátsins sem lá við [...]

By |July 26th, 2010|Boating Safety, Water Safety|19 Comments

Making Pools Safer

What could possibly go wrong?  That question doesn’t get asked often enough. In June of 2002, it was discovered that the suction drain of a hot tub was strong enough to hold a child underwater. Seven-year-old  Virginia Graeme Baker lost her life because a spa manufacturer did not ask the question: what could go wrong?  The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was signed into law in December of 2007. If it feels like five years was too long to wait for a regulation that makes spas and pools less able to hold children underwater – I agree. The Act calls for safety interlocks and anti-entrapment screens ─ all the things you think would be common sense, but apparently weren’t. Implementation of the law is still being worked out. But here is the thing – the pool in the backyard is yours.   You can assume that designers and manufacturers (and government regulators) thought of everything, or you can start asking your own questions. At the bottom of this post is the list of questions I consider when setting up a pool for safe operation. However, It is best when used as a starting point and an example for your list. As with most things relating to water safety, there are too many variables for absolutes. The hazards that are particular to your own backyard pool or spa are ones that you alone are going to have to manage. It’s hard and perhaps even stressful work, but I promise it will make your family safer. Here’s how to do it: […]

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By |July 24th, 2010|Water Safety|0 Comments

CPSC Releases Pool Safely Videos

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, as part of there PoolSafely initiative, has just released a series of excellent videos on YouTube.  I'd like to urge all parents to visit,  and  Their advice is absolutely lifesaving.

By |July 23rd, 2010|Water Safety|5 Comments

Avoiding and Escaping Rip Currents

At the beach at Cape Canaveral, nineteen-year-old Josh Scurlock looks out at the water.  The larger than normal waves look rough but not too rough so he and a friend go out in them to play.  A strong swimmer – Josh loves the ocean and his new Florida home just five blocks from the beach. It’s Saturday and the sun is out and there is no school and nothing at all is wrong in the world.

Joshua Scurlock in 2003

Having recently moved to Florida from Indiana, he doesn’t notice – or even know how to notice – the rip current that will sweep him out to sea and away from his friend.  Once caught in its pull, his instincts are to head back in.  The land is where safe is and something is pulling him away from it so he fights. Swimming as hard as he can for as long as he can – with his friend on the beach now yelling for help – Josh Scurlock tires and drowns. And though a heroic surfer eventually makes it to him and brings him to shore – he cannot be revived.  Josh never sees twenty. The U.S. Lifesaving Association says a story like that will happen over a hundred times this year on U.S. beaches.  My hope – and of that Josh’s mother, Dawn – is that they will be wrong.  By knowing what to look for, where to swim, and how to escape one should you get caught in a rip current, your summer will be a safer one. […]

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By |July 11th, 2010|Survival, Water Safety|16 Comments

Teaching Kids to Swim

In recent years, I've gotten hundreds of requests for information and advice about when children should start swimming lessons. Though I'd like to think I am a pretty smart guy, my experience in water safety has been predominantly on the rescue side. For a time I was an instructor at the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue [...]

By |July 10th, 2010|Learning, NDPA, Water Safety|15 Comments

Speaking of Drowning

The reaction to an article posted at gCaptain and again here on this site has been just this side of overwhelming.  I'd like to thank everyone who reposted - RT'd - shared - and liked "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning" and for the powerful discussions on the subject of drowning recognition taking place in forums [...]

By |July 9th, 2010|Water Safety|30 Comments

Verdrinking lijkt niet op verdrinking

Translations: –English -  汉语 - tiếng Việt – Español – Italiano -  Français – Português – română – Deutsch – Suomi – Svenska -  Čeština – Русско -Íslenska – Audio Version De nieuwe kapitein sprong volledig gekleed van het dek en sprintte door het water. Het was een voormalig badmeester en hield zijn ogen op [...]

By |July 7th, 2010|Water Safety|2 Comments

Spanish Translation of Drowning Article

One of my readers was kind enough to translate "Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning" into Spanish. Thank you, Arturo!

By |July 2nd, 2010|Boating Safety|0 Comments