Water Rescue Techniques

Rescuers should possess a broad range of skills in case of the water emergency. I have taught this lesson to colleges and scout students over many years. Water rescue techniques are skills used to save someone in trouble while in the water. Most of the individuals drown while others are watching not realizing that they are drowning.

For scouts, it should be noted that the only accepted rescue attempt is reached and throw methods, “first of all, you should keep yourself safe.” It is weird to help someone, and in turn, you find yourself in trouble. I advised them that “if you are not sure of rescuing the victim, you better call for help rather than endangering yourself.

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For my scout students, the following order should be followed in an attempt to save a victim.


If a scout notices a victim drowning in the pool of water, try to get him/ her using your arm or leg. If this does not work, look for a pole or stick available and try to reach out the victim and pull him/ her out safely. Take care not to hit the victim. During my internship at Georgia hotel, it happened that one of the tourists was drowning in a pool; there was no any rod or rope nearby. I tried to reach him by use of my hand or leg but failed since he was a bit far. At this point, I had to remove my jacket, enter into the water using cautious entry and throw the jacket on him while holding the other end. The jacket was used as an aid and helped to reach the victim quickly.


At this point, a rescue ring, a rope or anything that floats can be thrown to the victim and keep him/ her above water. These could be coolers, floaters or inflated tubes. This happens if the victim is too far to the effect of getting the rescue. When making a throw, the water currents, tides, the direction of the wind and the weight of the aid should be observed. Be careful not to hurt the victim when throwing hard materials.


If the above methods do not work, the rescuer should swim out towards the victim for rescue. This method is the last resort to be attempted. An individual should only do this to is trained in life-saving and swimming. It may be dangerous to a rescuer who is not familiar with the correct techniques. Non-contact rescue is a safer method compared to contact the rescue. Avoid direct contact with the victim. During my first days in training, my coach wanted to find out if I had an idea on how to rescue a drowning victim. I knew how to swim and rough ideas on how to get a victim out of the water. He took me to a swimming pool to demonstrate to other students on how to carry out rescues. He embraced cautious entry, swam swiftly and pretended to be drowning. With me being the life saver of the day, I quickly took off my clothing and dived towards the victim (coach); I gripped him and started to pull him towards the end. Unfortunately, he took hold of me firmly to the extent of not releasing me. This was a fatal clutch, and the casualty was dangerous.

At first, I failed since I never observed cautious entry. I never took the time to look for land based rescues or non-contact rescues. Also, I was not aware of any defense mechanism in case the casualty reacted.

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