Signs someone is drowning

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- There have been at least three drownings in the Texoma area recently and with much of the summer left to go lifeguard instructors are asking people not only to become strong, safe swimmers, but also learn how to tell if someone is struggling in the water.

Kenneth Hawk says he always makes sure his 3-year-old son wears his life jacket and is in sight at all times when he is near the water.

"We're just real cautious. Maybe a little over a little cautious at times, but we feel like its worth it," Hawk said.

Karista White also knows how important it is to be a safe swimmer.

"I make sure I stay in the places I know I can reach. I go too deep I freak out," White said.

Zandra Renshaw works as a lifeguard at "The Splash". She says last year she rescued seven kids at the pool and says she appreciates when swimmers like White are not only aware of their own limitations, but know when they should not be in the water.

"We're out here all day watching you guys and you know it would be a lot easier on us if you recognize your own signs of tiredness and dehydration," Renshaw said.

American Red Cross Lifeguard Trainer Keith Bibb says it is mportant to become a safe swimmer and learn the signs that show someone might be drowning. Bibb says a swimmer bobbing up and down upright that is not screaming for help is the first indication.

"Do they have their heads straight back? If there head is straight back that is a good indication that they are trying to keep their nose and their mouth above water so they can breathe. Do they have a supportive kick," Bibb asked.

Then, the final sign.

"Are they making any headway one way or the other to getting to land or making headway towards safety," Bibb asked.

Bibb says he does not recommend saving an active drowning victim if you are not a trained lifeguard because you could become a victim yourself.

"Well if you get to the victim and they're in a panic state they can pull you under with them," Bibb said.

He says if you do jump into save someone make sure you approach them from behind and have some sort of floatation device.

White says she follows the same rules at the pool or the lake.

"Like if you're in the lake watch out for the under current make sure there's people around you when you swim always swim with someone else," White said.

Bibb says a distressed swimmer could potentially become a drowning victim. He says if a person's body is at a diagonal angle and they are doing quick movements -- like the doggie paddle -- they could be in distress.


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