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What to do if you see someone drowning ?

Drowning is one of the major accidents that takes thousands of lives all over the world every year. It can happen to people whether they are skilled swimmers or not. Check out this article to know the tips you should remember and act if you see someone drowning.

There are many water bodies starting from small or big ponds, streams, lakes and rivers in rural areas. People, specially children love to bath and swim there. Drowning may happen quite frequently at these places creating dangers and even loss of life. It can happen to adults as well as toddlers. However, the majority of the drowning accidents happen with toddlers while bathing in the bath-tubs and young children while bathing in small water bodies like ponds, streams etc. It can also happen with the children leaning swimming in the swimming pools, enjoying at the water parks or a boat ride.. No person can stay cool if he notices someone is drowning in front of his eyes. He will make every effort to save the drowning person, sometimes even at the risk of his own life. Now the question is what should one do to save a drowning person? Let's learn about some of the tricks that can be helpful while trying to save a drowning person.

If you know swimming:

  • Shout at him asking not to panic and saying that you are coming for his help.
  • Swim near the person but not too near. Remember the proverb 'A drowning man catches even a straw.' so never go too near allowing him to get hold of you. In that case, both of you might be drowned.
  • If you have something like a towel with you in hand, throw one end to him and ask him to hold the end with both hands. In the absence of a towel, your shirt can also do the same function.
  • Ask him to lift his face and look at the sky. It would help him keep his nose out of water.
  • Pull him slowly towards the bank.
  • Lift him from water and lay him on the ground.
  • If you don't have a towel or something like that in hand, swim near the person but not too close, as already said.Keeping your body away from him, spread your hand and catch hold of his hair.
  • Try to ensure that his nose and mouth is facing the sky.
  • Pull him slowly towards the bank. Remember, due to the law of buoyancy his weight in water would be much less than the actual weight on the ground. Hence you wouldn't need much force to pull.
  • Lift him from water and lay him on the ground.

If you don't know swimming:

  • Shout at him asking not to panic and saying that people are coming for rescue.
  • Ask him to keep his face up towards the sky.
  • Shout with all your might requesting for help.
  • Try to find out a long rope or even a long branch of a tree and throw one end towards him.
  • If he can hold it, pull him slowly towards the bank.
  • Help him get out of water and make him lie on the ground.
  • Give him first aid on the spot.

How to give first aid ?

  • Put your hand near his nose and check whether he is breathing.
  • If not, stretch the person on his back and loosen any tight clothing around the neck, chest or waist.
  • Lift up his chin and tilt the head back as much as possible.
  • Close his nostrils with your fingers .
  • Place your mouth tightly over his mouth and blow as hard as you can.
  • Now take your mouth away so that air can be expelled from the lungs.
  • Repeat the process for some time after a small gap each time.
  • Arrange to take him to the doctor as soon as possible.


Drowning is not always fatal. Remember, human body is 72% water. Therefore, he will be able to float easily. The drowning person gets senseless out of panic. If seen and rescued early, there is every possibility of survival.

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Author: NK SHARMA20 Sep 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

What should one do to save a drowning person?
1. Shout for help, yell "Bachao-Bachao". People will come for help.
2. Know the approximate depth of water body at seen.
3.If it is up to 5-6 feet, directly jump and take out the patient. If depth is more arrange a swimmer/ boat/ life saving belts/ rope etc. to rescue the person.
4.Put the person on ground chest on the ground and back upside, head sideways.
5. Start artificial respiration 15-20 per minutes. Put both the palm at the lower ribs and start pushing. Water will come out from mouth with every push.
6. Keep on the process till the complete water drain out and the respiration is restored.

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