Water Survival for Non-Swimmers


(ModernSurvival.org) – As summer approaches, many will find themselves drawn to the water, be it in swimming pools, lakes, or even the sea. While taking a dip can cool a person off, it’s also a potentially deadly scenario — especially for those who don’t know how to swim. Unfortunately, drowning is a common cause of death in many areas of the world. In order to prevent drowning, it’s crucial for a person to know how to survive in water, even if they can’t swim.

According to the CDC, roughly ten people die per day (3,536 per year, on average) in drowning accidents unrelated to boating. Over 300 additional drowning deaths occur per year in boating incidents.

Water survival doesn’t depend on a large-scale disaster, either natural or man-made. Without the ability to swim effectively, being submerged in a pool or body of water is an everyday survival situation in itself. Even normal activities such as attending a pool party or going out on a boat can become deadly if non-swimmers find themselves in the water without a float or life preserver.

Fortunately, there’s one critical skill that can help non-swimmers survive being submerged.

Overcome the Fear of Water 

Many adults who can’t swim suffer from a fear of water. Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome this fear — it’s also essential to survival in a water emergency. Panicking increases the risk of drowning for a frightened person in the water.

Here are three basic survival tips to help non-swimmers survive in the water until help arrives:

  1. Do not struggle, panic or thrash. Raising or waving the arms above the water actually raises the risk of drowning.
  2. The only parts of the body that must remain above water at all times are the nose and mouth. Relax the arms and legs and lay back with ears submerged and face out of the water.
  3. Take a deep, calming breath to fill the lungs. Keep breathing steady and avoid panting or gasping. Controlled breathing will help the body float.

A major part of surviving in the water is learning how to hold your breath properly. Take a look at our article about how to hold your breath the right way for more details.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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