Speaking of Drowning

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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 around the web.

I’m drowning myself in a flood of emails, comments, and now bandwidth/Wordpress process issues and I’m working through them all just as fast as I can.  For all of you who have sent me questions and requests, I promise I’ll get back to you directly just as soon as I can.  You are asking very good questions and bringing up excellent points.

I’ll be posting a video (hopefully this weekend) along with a suggested safety checklist for swimming pools – particularly when children are at play.  Thanks again for all the support.




Update: July 26th – 2010 > As near as we can tell – the article on drowning has been viewed by well over two million readers worldwide. It has been translated, repurposed, copied, shared, and re-printed in newspapers and magazines.  

More humbling than all of that has been the stories, both heroic and tragic, that have been shared as comments on this blog and others. I’m humbled beyond measure and thankful for your efforts to pass this message along.

Be safe out there,


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By | 2017-05-18T15:30:02+00:00 July 9th, 2010|Water Safety|30 Comments

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  • Rene Gade

    Great article. I posted a comment regarding secondary drowning, perhaps you can include a mention in future posts or videos.

  • Dave

    I forwarded it to my crew with one word in my comments: “Lifejackets.”

  • Working on the secondary drowning risk article this weekend – Thanks!

  • Alissa Degreenia

    Thank you for posting this. The information here is priceless. And so very scary, but true.

  • Mary, mom of 3

    I want to thank you Mario from the bottom of my heart.

    I read your article shortly after it came out. I shared it with friends. Earlier today, my 3 children, my friend & her 3 children swam in the pool today. My 5 year old is slowly learning to swim. He knows to stay in the shallow end.

    But today, he slipped on a slippery slope that goes sharply down into the deep end. I had my back turned for a moment. I don't know how I got out of the pool…my friend grabbed my son out of the water. His face was pale, his lips were blue & his eyes were closed. I pulled his mask off of his face & rushed to the table. I patted him on the back & listened to see if he was breathing (he was). I had him face down on my lap in attempt to get him to throw up water he swallowed.

    He started throwing up & was screaming. He was alive! My heart was in my throat and I prayed that he would be alright. The ache in my heart was almost more than I could imagine. He was heavy, limp in my arms but he was crying. HE IS ALIVE!

    I feel like a horrible mother, how could I have turned my back on him for that brief moment? But thank God my friend saw him, pulled him out & I knew what to do…I also realized what was happening thanks to your article.

    God bless you, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. <3

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Mary. I want you to read this as well. http://www.toddlerstoday.com/articles/general-s

  • Well done sir. Reaching millions of people with this information means that although you'll almost certainly never know it, you will have saved at least a few lives. I credit the arresting title, gets to the point and engages the curiosity of the reader. The opening anecdote gets the reader further invested emotionally as well as intellectually.
    Until I had visited a rehab ward for Tetraplegics, I had never heard of the phrase “feet first, first time” in reference to a safety measure for diving in order to avoid a broken neck. I had no idea that diving was the second most common way that people break their necks, after motorcycles. Now I know the risk of paralysis involved in diving, and how to mitigate that risk. Before I knew nothing, and now I have that information forever. Now the same is true of this critical piece of information about the risks of drowning, and I can pass this information on to many others.

  • Hello Mario,

    I added your link in a post I wrote today and hope it helps save a life.

    Here’s the link to my post if you’d care to have a look and thanks for your efforts.


    Even with just a quick glance at your blog (I came over from gCaptain) I can see that the swimmers and sailors in my family might also enjoy a good look around.

  • Sally

    I was a swimming instructor at the YMCA and I was teaching the 4 year olds then one of the kids who wasn’t very coordinated was below the water looking up at me…I watched for a moment in shock and kind of looked to see if the boy was trying to come up at all…then I reached down in the water and pulled him up. This occured in the 3 foot section of the pool with me right next to the boy and it was a bit of a shock but like the article said about the drowning refles…the boy was looking up but not moving…