What to do if you see someone drowning - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What to do if you see someone drowning

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Following the death of an 11-year-old boy who drowned while trying to save his older brother, water rescue officials are reminding people how to stay safe.

Gary Kessie, Aquatics Director at the Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene, wants people to remember, “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go.”

"It's just that fight or flight,” said Kessie. “They're scared, they can’t get out of the water, they can't breath, and so they begin to panic.”

Kessie says active drowning only lasts 20 to 30 seconds before a person can go below the surface and that’s when they can become a problem for someone trying to pull them out of the water.

Kessie says if you see someone struggling to stay afloat, throw them a branch, rope, or some sort of flotation device. If they’re in reach, grab them, but don’t leave the shore or bank.

Kessie adds, don’t swim in water you aren’t familiar with. Lakes, ponds, and rivers all pose different safety risks, and it’s best to know the hazards before going in the water.

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