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A drowning victim may be flailing their arms in distress or lying face down in the water.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Blue lips / ears
  • Cold, pale skin
  • Bloated abdomen. Vomiting. Choking
  • Absence of breathing
  • Weak or absence of pulse
  • Confusion, lethargy, maybe unconscious

Remove the victim from the water.

Check if the victim is breathing. Look to see if their chest is moving or place your ear next to the person’s mouth and nose to listen / feel for air.

If the victim is not breathing, check their pulse for 10 seconds.

If there is no pulse, start CPR. Do not stop until the victim is breathing on his or her own again.

If the victim begins coughing or spurting water, turn them on their side. This will help with the drainage of water from the lungs.

The wet clothes should be removed and the victim should be kept warm by covering them with blankets, etc.