How to stay safe while rescuing someone from drowning

Local News

An expert says the worst thing you can do is get in the water

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Local 4 News is looking at how you can keep yourself and others safe in the water.

This comes after the death of two teachers on Monday. Both men drowned after one tried to save the other in a Davenport pool.

We also reported on the one year anniversary of Hawk Newberry’s death — the two year old drowned in the Mississippi River.

YMCA Aquatics Director Kristin Pharr said there’s one phrase to remember when rescuing someone from drowning: “Reach or throw, don’t go.”

“Once you jump into the water the situation can turn in a matter of seconds,” Pharr said. “If the victim is actively drowning they will literally do anything they can to save themselves and that usually means trying to grab you and possibly pulling you under.”

Instead of getting in the water, Pharr said to grab something you can reach out to them, like a pool noodle or towel, so they can grab on to it.

“You want to make sure you get down low. Talk to them,” she said. “You can literally use anything that you find around and you can help save someone’s life.”

It’s also important to crouch down on the ground before you try to pull someone out of the water.

“Don’t try to stand up and reach because they can pull you in and then you are both in trouble,” Pharr said.

Pharr’s number one rule is don’t go into the water alone. Someone should always be on the side watching or in the water with you.

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