ER24’s records show 116 drowning incidents in South Africa (from October 2012 to February 2013). However, this figure does not show the number of deaths that occurred as a result. Since 2008 drowning incidents have increased by an alarming 52%.
David da Silva, an experienced ER24 trainer says, “Preventative methods such as pool fencing and netting are necessary especially where children are involved.” During Da Silva’s decades of emergency service, he has found that bystanders play a crucial role in saving a patient’s life. “It is very rare to arrive at a scene and find that an unattended patient has survived without assistance from a bystander,” explains Da Silva. A bystander performing basic CPR on a patient could buy them enough time until emergency personnel arrive at the scene.
Da Silva added that another danger with drowning is its silent nature. “Drowning does not look like a scene on Baywatch. It is silent… an individual could drown at a loud pool party and nobody would notice.” In many instances, victims don’t wave their arms or yell for help while they’re drowning.
During the summer holiday period more people frequent the beaches and pools to cool off and have fun. However, what starts as fun could potentially be life-threatening.
We all love being outdoors to soak up the sun while enjoying the soothing nature of water. And although the ER24 family is on standby to attend to any drowning emergencies, people are encouraged to follow all the necessary precautions when they are anywhere near water.