Saving Drowning Victims




Beach & Aquatic Safety

Seconds Count offers:

  • Beach & Aquatic Safety Management 
  • Survival Swimming
  • Lifeguard Training
  • CPR Training for Drowning Victims
  • Community Development Programs

Drowning: It's Real, be Prepared For Unexpected Circumstances

Swimming is a natural activity that is synonymous with living in the Bahamas. Bahamians and tourists of all ages enjoy the beautiful turquoise water and gorgeous beaches on a daily basis. Hence, the opportunity for drowning is very real.  A drowning situation can happen so quickly and so unexpectedly that it’s easy to be caught off-guard. The first step to save someone who is drowning is to determine for sure whether they really are drowning. If they have gone underwater and cannot speak or yell, that can be a sign that they are in trouble.

Having official First Aid & CPR training can be the major factor regarding what happens next. Would it be a panic, alarming and frantic response where valuable time is lost that could have been used to save the victim’s life or a decisive jump to action by a trained certified first responder who will quickly assess the situation take the appropriate lifesaving action.

For drowning victims, the American Heart Association recommends immediate CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths as people underwater die because of lack of oxygen.

We would advocate for parents knowing CPR, and particularly if they have a pool, they should become familiar and are trained in mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing.

All children should be knowledgeable about CPR as Seconds count in a crisis when amongst their peers while on the beach and during the summer months especially.

We would like make sure that all beaches and public spaces have Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Stations available in the event of an emergency.

Drowning occurs when water comes into contact with the larynx (voice box). After an initial gasp, there is a period of voluntary breath holding. This is followed by spasm of the larynx and the development of hypoxemia (hypo=low + ox=oxygen + emia=blood), or decreased levels of oxygen in the bloodstream.

The prognosis for many drowning victims is poor. The brain does not tolerate lack of oxygen well and the amount of potential damage is dependent upon the time the patient spends hypoxemic in the water.

The key to the treatment of drowning is prevention.

How can drowning be prevented?

Most drownings are preventable, and simple steps can be taken to help with water safety.

  • Learn how to swim.
  • When in the water, use the buddy system.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs when swimming or boating.
  • Supervise children closely around water and make certain they are the focus of your attention. Even bathtubs and buckets full of water can be dangerous.
  • Swimming pools should have barriers (fences, gates, alarms) to prevent children from entering unattended.
  • Learn CPR.


Seconds Count!