2 MAIN GOALS Quantify the scope of the problem.Train people torecognize andrespond to drowningincidents.
The Great Lakes5 Lakes8 States2 Countries10,000 Miles ofshoreline.21% of the worlds freshwater.
Preliminary ResearchNationwide:~35 per year (Gensini and Ashley 2009)>100 per year (U.S.L.A.)~150 per year (Lushine 1991)Great Lakes:~8 per year (Guenther 2008)~33 per year (Guenther 2010)There is universal agreement in need forfurther research.
Problems With Data CollectionTerminology: drowning, near-drowning,rip current, rip tide, undertow, tombolo.Cause of Death: ICD-10 codes.
Until we get a universal definition of terminology,accurate meteorological data and until we get ICDcodes with better parameters; we will not have truly‘scientific’ data.The media is only a starting point but maybe the bestand most accurate source we have at this time.
RESULTS 2010 201175 Total Drownings 87 Total Drownings38 in Lake Michigan 50.6% 42 in Lake Michigan 48.2%32 ‘rip currents’ 42.6% 19 ‘Rip Currents’ 21.8% Clearly there is a significant problem. We cannot wait until the scientific community quantifies the problem more accurately or agrees on the ‘real’ scope of the issue.
WHERE TO START?We do not need to wait for the scientists toagree, nor do we need to reinvent the wheel.
SimilaritiesThe Fire Problem: 5th The Drowning Problem: 4thLeading Cause of Death. Leading Cause of Death. Solutions• Education • Education• Code Enforcement • Engineering• Emergency Response • Emergency Response
The DIFFERENCE?The fire service has thousands of full-time and volunteeradvocates in a well established, highly organized and wellfunded network. Most Fire Departments have a wholedivision devoted to fire prevention activities. We visit schools,hold picnics and teach kids to “Stop, Drop & Roll”.We need to get organized, networked and FUNDED.
WHERE TO START?"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, "and go on tillyou come to the end; then stop."- Alice in Wonderland
WHY SURFERS?Surfers have a floatation device.Surfers have thermal protection.Surfers are comfortable in big waves.Surfers are often in the ‘right place’ at the‘right time’.
Topics• What Drowning Looks Like – I.D.R. – Distressed Swimmer• Rip Current Dynamics – Wind – Waves – Seiche• Basic Rescue Techniques – Board Based – Shore Based• Spinal Injury• Triangulation
Instinctive Drowning ResponseVertical in Water Head Back Mouth OpenNO WAVING NO YELLING NO SPLASHING YOU HAVE 20-60 SECONDS TO SAVE THIS PERSON
Distressed Swimmers• More Horizontal in water• Slow forward progress• Arms (may) clear the water in weak attempt at swimming strokes.• Maybe able to yell or wave.• Much more likely to be rescued, but at any point may become a drowning victim.
Your victim may not be able to yell but others may…
RIP CURRENT DYNAMICSWater always seeks the path of least resistance. Once a cut in a sandbar begins it becomes the focus of a channel of water.Along piers and breakwalls; water piles up and channels out along the structure.
Pier Rip Currents• A seiche may compound the problem.• Great Lakes rip currents also form at piers and jetties.• These rips can extend well past the structure.• Victims who jump or are swept off piers maybe caught in these rips.
A seiche (pronounced “saysh”) is the rocking motion ofwater in a lake or similarly closed or partially closedwater body. Scientists call the pendulum-likemovements within seiches “free standing-waveoscillations.” Seiches, are almost always present on theGreat Lakes.
RESCUE• Surf rescue is dangerous• Equip yourself with: – Knowledge • Your Ability • Your Equipment • Your Environment 911 capability Rescue equipment – Common sense When in doubt don’t go out
Board TechniquesApproach the victim from the side, slide off Grasp their hand and bring it to the rail about mid-the board and keep it between you and the board…victim… Flip the board again, this should position them more orFlip the board once so their hand is on one less on the middle of the board…rail and their armpit on the other…[Make sure theirface doesn’t smack the board]
Short Board Techniques Try to get the board under them by submerging the board under or dragging the victim over the board. Hang off the back, balance & keep from pearling.All boards are different experiment with your board before an emergency.
No board? No problem• REACH• THROW• ROW• TOW• GO Many ordinary objects can be used to make shore based rescues. Give the victim something that floats, calm them down and CALL 911
Throw bags and Ring Buoys• Secure the end• Throw past the victim.
Last Seen Point & TriangulatingFinding our place in the line-up: out at the lighthouse linedup with the white house.
SPINAL INJURIESAnatomy & physiology:The SPINAL CORD is the nerve tissue that runs down the middle of the VERTEBRA (the bones).
SPINAL INJURY• Spinal injuries can be caused a number of ways: like striking the bottom or a submerged object. They may also be caused by hitting the water or being hit with a surfboard (your own or someone elses).• Caring for spinal cord injuries takes special training. Unless absolutely necessary (to save their life) do not move the victim.• If they must be moved keep head, neck and torso in one plane: move as a unit.
Artificial respiration / CPR Drowning victims often need to be resuscitated after rescue. Learn how to do CPR from the Red Cross, American Heart Association or other training agencies.Classes are cheap and easy.
Lessons LearnedNeed for Better StatisticsNeed to Research Rip CurrentsNeed for More EducationNeed for Broad CollaborationNeed to Remember:Cultural Shifts Take Time and Commitment