Over the weekend, a young Saudi man, Ali Omar Al Batashi, 30, died while rescuing his friend’s father from drowning after the floodgates of Qununa Valley Dam opened last Friday. Coming to the rescue, Al Batashi immediately jumped in the water to save the father, who was fighting for his life. While Batashi pulled his friend’s father back to safety, the floods washed him away from the shore.
This isn’t the first case, and it won’t be the last. Drowning is still one of the most common causes of death, with an average of 10 people drowning every day, according to statistics from the CDC. With some areas lifting easing restrictions, water parks and beaches are becoming a go-to destination for families looking for outdoor activities. However, strict caution must be observed, as children pose a particular drowning risk if left unsupervised.
Avoid Drowning Risks
Children should always be watched, as drowning can quickly and quietly happen within seconds. Equipping children with fins and floatation devices can help decrease their risk of drowning while improving their swimming experience. Parents should also encourage children’s water confidence at an early age, as this can help tremendously in their water survival skills as they grow older. After all, not everyone is a natural swimmer and may need lessons to prevent the risk of drowning: indeed, it has been shown that formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning in children aged between one and four.
Drowning can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and learning basic life survival skills such as CPR could help you to save someone one day. There have been several accounts of CPR being performed by random bystanders that have saved lives and stabilized the condition of the victim before professional help arrives. As such, it is important to make every second count. The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of survival.
With adults and adolescents, alcohol use is associated with up to 70% of deaths in water recreation-related activities, according to CDC. Alcohol intake influences decision making and judgment, and decreases physical coordination, which could be fatal if exposed to dangerous conditions. Wearing a life jacket is just as important as wearing a seatbelt: the US Coast Guard reports that 88% of boating deaths were due to victims not wearing proper safety gear. Adults with medical conditions such as seizures or any other neurological or muscular disorder should also avoid water activities without a friend or family member who can provide extra supervision.
Individuals must always stay cautious around pools and other areas of water. While adults may have better chances of survival than children, underestimation of water may be fatal under the wrong conditions.