You could be in the ocean, enjoying some fun in the sun. Or at a public pool, surrounded by friends and family, living it up in the summer. You might even be at home in your very own bathtub when all of a sudden, you find yourself submerged underwater and gasping for air.
This scary scenario is a reality faced daily… and all too often, the outcome is fatal. Nonprofit Action to End Drowning is committed to eliminating the amount of drowning deaths and injuries by educating the public on the facts. In this entry, Founder Arthur E. Benjamin covers a commonly asked question:
How long does it take to drown?
On average, a person can hold their breath for only 30 seconds. A highly trained scuba diver, swimmer or other underwater professional may even be able to hold their breath for a whole minute. Once you can no longer hold your breath, your body will involuntarily attempt to breathe. The result will inevitably involve breathing in water, which will clog the lungs and result in a
More or less: a person can drown in as little as 5 minutes.
What’s scary is that this can happen so quickly, that even the people around the drowning person will have no idea that anything is wrong. That’s why Action to End Drowning is working hard to teach people, from lifeguards to casual swimmers, what to look out for in terms of drowning signs. The faster someone realizes what’s going on, the better!
You don’t have to be in the ocean or even in a pool for a drowning attack to sneak up on you. You could even be completely conscious and in control of your swimming when out of the blue — you’re under the attack of water. The important thing is to recognize warning signs and be prepared in the event of the worst case scenario.
While it’s difficult to prevent your own drowning, it’s imperative that we — as in all people! — look out for signs when swimming with other people. Your attention to detail could truly save a life.