What to do if someone falls in the WATER

You will want to do the right thing when you face an emergency situation involving immersion in cold water.
HOWEVER, there are many right things to do. No two emergencies are the same: there cannot be step-by-step instructions on what things to do or in what order to do them.

Here are some key points that may help you to save a life when someone falls in the water:


SHOUT
Shout for help as loud as you can, and keep on shouting until someone comes to help.

Shout something meaningful...

"HELP - PLEASE - SOMEBODY - IN THE WATER"

Do not scream: passers-by often think this is animals or children playing.
 
PHONE
Dial 999 or 112, tell the operator what has happened and where you are.

Give as much information about the location and conditions as you can...

ICE - SWIFTLY MOVING - POND - DEEP – RIVER

It is crucial that the emergency services are contacted as fast as possible. Survival depends upon a time sensitive series of events.

While you are waiting for the rescue agencies to arrive there are some self-help options to consider. HOWEVER, YOUR OWN SAFETY IS VITAL.
REACH, THROW, WADE or ROW...
REACH
REACH - with a pole or stick. Hold on to something so you don’t fall in too.

Always use a stick or something between you and the victim … you must be prepared to let it go if you are in danger of being pulled into the water by a panicking person.
 
THROW
THROW - a rescue float or anything that will float. If you have a rope, throw one end to the person in the water.
 
WADE
WADE - If you must enter the water, WADE out holding a stick, jacket, hat, or other object for the victim to grasp.

Never lose contact with the bank. Several people can form a chain.
 
ROW
ROW - If there is a boat nearby; use it if you can.
Pull the victim to the shore. Do not try to get them into the boat.
 
AFTERCARE
It is very important that the paramedics check out anyone who has fallen into cold water.

They may not need to go to hospital. Or they may need to be re-warmed carefully under medical supervision to avoid long-lasting problems caused by immersion in cold water.

While waiting for the ambulance and the paramedics, you should dry the patient as carefully and as best you can, wrap them in dry clothing and shelter them from the wind.
 
• DO NOT apply heat (e.g. from a car heater) This could be disastrous.
 
• DO NOT give anything to eat or drink. This could complicate things later.
 
• DO NOT let them go home. Side effects can kick in during the next few hours.

   

 

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