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Why you should never jump in after a person in trouble

Hey, ya’ll! Howey here with one of our first May Water Safety Tips…THROW, DON’T GO!

What’s it mean? Just like it sounds, it means that if you see someone who needs help in the water, don’t jump in after them! Find something that can float, like a life ring or a noodle, and throw it to them.

Using a flotation device to throw to a person who is drowning is important because it provides a safe way to rescue them without putting yourself at risk. When someone is drowning, they may be in a state of panic and desperation, which can lead them to grab onto anything within reach, including another person. If you jump in to help them, there is a risk that they may grab onto you, dragging you under the water and putting both of you in danger. Additionally, when someone is panicking, they may not be able to follow instructions, making it harder to help them.


It happens a lot more often than you might think. Take this tragedy a few years ago in New Jersey, where 2 adults drowned in a small backyard pool trying to rescue a small child. Or these teens in Louisiana, who died trying to help a friend who got into trouble at the side of a local river…all 6 of them drowned. Or these 2 children in Florida…a boy who tried to help his brother struggling in a pond.

This same scenario plays out more often than it should, and it’s one of the reasons you’ll always see lifeguards on duty with flotation devices. Even strong swimmers can have difficulty rescuing someone in trouble.

By using a flotation device, such as a life ring or a flotation noodle, you can throw it to the person in distress from a safe distance, allowing them to grab onto it and stay afloat while you call for professional help or continue to monitor the situation. This method ensures that both you and the person in danger stay safe and out of harm's way.


To stay safe while helping others, it is important to follow some basic guidelines.


icon-howeyWritten by Howey the Dolphin, Water Safety Expert, Houston Swim Club

May 9, 2023
"Water Safety" 

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