Water Safety

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Thinking About It All Wrong

By |December 11th, 2011|

The image above is from a YouTube video posted in 2009 - a sort of warning to boaters about the benefits of safety gear like life jackets and kill switches. I'm posting it here as [...]

Self Rescue – Falling Through Ice

By |December 10th, 2011|

In 2002, my friend and mentor (and maniac) Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht fell - on purpose - through the ice on a frozen lake. He wanted to demonstrate just how those who fall through the ice [...]

Boy Brought Back After Drowning

By |August 9th, 2011|

Francesco Pia, PhD. Discusses the Instinctive Drowning Response using one of his examples from Orchard Beach in NY. And now for the happy ending:

Video of Instinctive Drowning Response

By |July 28th, 2011|

Cecily Tynan’s Report on Childhood Drowning Prevention

By |July 1st, 2011|

Good Guard Bad Guard

By |June 4th, 2011|

It’s July and hot outside and you head to the neighborhood pool for the day.  The kids want to swim and you just want to be doing nothing for awhile.  Everyone files through the gate as you scan for an open lounge chair and your friends.  The kids have sunscreen on, you have your book, and yes – Mike is the lifeguard on duty.  You like Mike.  He’s a good kid and always nice to yours and he doesn’t tolerate too much funny business.  He’s been a lifeguard here for three seasons now, he’s Red Cross certified, and you have seen him in action.  With cat-like reflexes and keen eyes, Mike has yanked more than his share of non-swimming kids out of the deep end.  “Why don’t their parents watch them more closely?” you think. Then you crack open your book as your strong-swimming kids head into the pool under the watchful eye of good-old Mike. Ten minutes later – your 12-year-old is standing over you, dripping onto your book and crying.  He almost drowned but your neighbor, Julie, saw it and got to him just in time.  “He took on a little water – you should have him checked out,” Julie says.  Mike is walking over to you now, confused and visibly upset.  He never saw a thing, and it happened right in front of him. […]

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Children on Boats are Still Children

By |April 24th, 2011|

This morning I received an email from a reader who was struggling with a boating safety question.  She and her husband enjoy the water and and they have two small children and they just couldn’t seem to get together on one issue: How much supervision is enough out there on the water?  She gave me permission to post her question and my answer to her here. What do you think? Your comments would be appreciated. Here is the email and my answer:     Hey Mario – Given your area of expertise, I was hoping you could provide an opinion on a boating matter to help settle a family discussion. Here goes – Do you think it is wise for an adult to boat alone with two 2-year-olds. They would be on a standard pontoon boat that has seating around the entire front and 36″ guard rail where there isn’t seating. The little ones would obviously be in life vests. The adult would not be wearing a life vest (but there would be an available life vest for him on the boat). Thoughts? Thanks for your input! I didn’t know who to ask and you came to mind!! If you are celebrating Easter – Happy Easter! A Concerned Mom Never shrinking from getting into the middle of a family …discussion…I replied. Dear Concerned Mom: There are a huge number of variables to consider and I thought about getting into all of them but I’ll just tell you my initial gut reaction and why I had it: […]

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It Doesn’t Have to Be Summer

By |November 13th, 2010|

The Consumer Product Safety Commission receives reports every year of drownings that occur in water sources (and other liquids) not normally associated with drownings - things found in an around landlocked homes without pools. Understanding that it happens (however rarely) and why and how it happens can be all it takes to make sure it doesn't happen to you.

Staying Alive in Cold Water (1-10-1)

By |October 24th, 2010|

I couldn’t feel my hands anymore and using them was impossible. The shivering was uncontrollable and violent. “That’s a good sign,” I thought to myself. I remembered from my studies of hypothermia that shivering stops before you lose consciousness. “If I’m still shivering than I’ll live for a while longer”, I reasoned. But mostly I was wondering about how I got myself into that mess.

The Truth About Cold Water

By |October 21st, 2010|

I’m going to come right out and tell you something that almost no one in the maritime industry understands. That includes mariners, executives, managers, insurers, dock workers, for certain – fisherman, and even many (most) [...]