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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  • NotKatie

    Still can’t get to it – hope you can fix this soon, as this is such good information. Thanks!

  • Your name/post in lights:




  • Thanks Joe!

  • Was your original article deleted? I was able to see it before, but now it's gone. All that's left is the headline, image, and comments.

  • No that comments are closed on the original article, the article doesn't display. That is unless it was just a picture. I'd love to read the article.

  • Alfonso

    Same here… no article at all. Just comments.

  • Fancycats

    Same here…I linked to it the first time, pasted the URL in an email to a bunch of people including myself at another email address…and when I clicked on it I just saw all the comments… WHERE can we find the full article now???

  • Kjsophie4

    As the Grandmother of a beautiful and perfectly healthy, smart and charming 2 year 3mo old who found her way through a child security gate that was always to be latched and out a door that she shouldn't have been able to get to, into a back yard she was never allowed to play alone in, and into the family pool within about 4 minutes. She lay in a coma for two days before she left us for to live in Heaven. It was the most painful and tragic experience of my adult life. The devastation and lasting effects to our family, especially her Daddy and Mommy and 6 older sibs goes beyond anything I ever would have imagined. Please, if you have a pool, be sure there is no way a child can climb a ladder or a toy or bucket…or anything to get into it, or get through gate that is meant to provide security. I know all too well how quickly it can happen and your life is changed forever…and family will never be the same again!
    (Remembering Sarah Faith Schmidt; 03/28/03 – 06/30/05.)

  • So sorry everyone! I fixed it….what a rookie move to delete the whole thing. Thanks for the patience.

  • Congrats Mario on getting a good deal of spread on that post, people need it!

  • Video is a good idea, BTW, as is the way you've commented back to most people. Make sure you really build community out of all of this traffic!

  • I'm trying very hard to respond to as many people as I can. Some of the stories are amazing and the questions have been great. And here I thought building my site would be easy since nobody was going to read it anyway!? I've got some pretty smart help from some amazing friends that at least know better that to change the permalink to a post (I did that just a few moments ago – again…oops).

    As soon as I get over the rookie moves – and mistakes, I'm hoping to build something useful and lasting here.

    Thanks so much, Scott.

  • Sharon Morris

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on drowning. I was glueless until now.
    God Bless you Mario and keep up the good work.

    Kind regards
    Sharon Morris

  • Mainer122

    Really appreciate the article and how it's reaching so many.

    One question:

    Ask them: “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are.

    Shouldn't that be “If they can't answer at all?”

    That's the way it was for me – it felt like a waterbed on my shoulders, and more people sitting on it every second. My brother yelled, “Do you need help?” twice, saw I couldn't answer, and came for me.

  • Sorry for the confusion there – what I mean is …If they can answer at all – they probably are…alright.

  • Thank you very much, Sharon.

  • ep

    thank you for posting this article! I have passed it on. It is so helpful!!

  • Mario –

    Great articles all around. I found you through Wet and Wild Open Water Swimming – Ireland which posted this on facebook. I’m a relatively new open water swimmer/racer (though former Div. I swimmer and water polo player and lifeguard) and have found your site helpful, particularly as I gear up for my first long distance cold water swim – The Beginish Island Swim off the western coast of Ireland, 4 miles in 54 degree water – July 16. As its my first try, I’ll be in a wetsuit, but the cold is still an issue. I’d like to link your site to my blog: http://oceanswimireland.blogspot.com if that is okay with you. We will have lots of video and stills from the swim which may be of interest to you and your readers.

    We also have a pool in our backyard and a two year old. We recently put up a four foot safety fence, but will remain vigilant besides and your “what drowning looks like” article is a great reminder of this.


    -Matt Bondurant

  • M_Kanzler

    “…If they can answer at all – they probably are…alright.”
    Seemed rather obvious to me.
    I look forward to seeing the video.

  • Mainer122

    The confusion was all mine – in reading it I thought “If they can answer at all – they probably are” meant “they probably are drowning.” I didn't connect it with “Are you alright?”

    Since I'm the only one of about five thousand people who read it that way, I think you can say it's quite clear. Thanks again.