Can you recognize a drowning victim?

I live in a very small town that has a “pond” in the center of it. It was created in the ’70s out of a swampy area. The pond is used for swimming, fishing, ice skating. etc, as well as an area for family and group gatherings. There are a couple of pavilions, some ball fields, swings, etc. The pond is kind of the focal point for the town and it is used for everything from Easter Egg hunts to the Christmas tree lighting.

“Wow, that’s sounds great T. H., but do you have a point?”

Well, in all that time the town has had a pond, and for all the many people that use it, there has never been a drowning. That all changed on Sunday when a 5 year old boy lost his life while at a church picnic. The Cones were not there, but I understand there were plenty of people around and no one noticed until it was too late.

The tragedy reminded me of this article and short video. Maybe we should all watch that video and, perhaps, pass it along to others. This summer is almost over, but there will surely be another next year.

RIP little boy. Thanks for posting this Cone, the more people that see this the better.

Please teach your children how to swim.

Here in Florida , it's basically mandatory , there's water everywhere .

Thanks for sharing , cone .

Even good swimmers can get in trouble , so be alert .

I and my wife once have got into a rip current. She could not move at all and I was barely able to pull her out and get out myself. Those things are quite powerful and being able to swim does not help there. I’m quite tall and walked out of there. Though, that walk took a lot out of me.

How to survive a rip current .

Sad story but unfortunately it happens all the time. Almost everyday in our local Hawaii news there's always someone who drowns. Usually getting swept away by the strong currents while swimming or fishing.

That's absolutely tragic... :( My heart goes out to the boy's family. Thx for sharing the vid.

I’ve taken a rescue coarse (in scuba diving) and the point that was made was exactly that of this video. People aren’t shouting and waving their arms.

There are other concerns for the rescuer as well (especially when the victim is a large, strong male) and that is the victim will grab the rescuer and can easily drown him/her as well in their panic.

It’s best to come up behind the victim so they can’t grab you. You basically have to just take control, calm them down and once they see that their head is out of the water, they can rest, and you are bringing them in then they become a normal rational person again.

Looking out into the water however they don’t really stand out as that video of the young boy shows.

In diving at least, it’s always better to just go and help someone even if they say they don’t need it as long as they don’t forcefully express that they don’t need help. People can be reluctant to accept help even when they are in some trouble.

If they are drowning obviously they do want help but some of the symptoms of trouble are just someone suddenly becoming quiet or other sudden changes in personality.

It’s certainly not intuitive as to how people in trouble in the water will react until you’re experienced/witnessed it a few times.

nice info ..As an expert swimmer I can tell you swimming against a rip tide is almost impossible

Very sad. Very unfortunate. :(

I always feel bad for seeing how long I can hold my breath underwater at pools. My senior lifeguard brother always yells at me for that. But, I’ll be a lifeguard starting next summer too; maybe I’ll understand more.

Oh, and that seems like such a long time without a drowning at that kind of place. It might’ve been because it was so popular that people looked out for one another. One thing I gotta say though; everyone should take swimming lessons. At least for 2 or 3 years starting at kindergarten-2nd grade. Or at least have someone who knows how to swim teach the kid if you don’t have the money for it. I’m always amazed at parents who let their 5 year olds swim alone without supervision. But in this instance, the kid might’ve ran off while the parent went to the bathroom or something.

Really tragic thing to happen, but maybe this’ll prevent more untimely deaths like this by reawakening parents to the dangers of unsupervision.

Only thing about rip tides I’d freak out about is sharks. I’m very afraid of sharks, just concious of my surroundings everywhere. And once I found out about how bull sharks can go in freshwater; I realized there was no safe place from sharks. It took me several hours at my first beach (clearwater, florida this last spring) to stop scanning for sharks. I’d just freak out because; I thought rip tides are only in the ocean really, the ocean has sharks, deeper water=more sharks.

During the summer month’s, there is a life guard on duty during “regular” hours, but there was not one on duty at the time of the accident.

Growing up in Michigan you are pretty aware of this, there’s always drownings in the lakes, especially on windy days with big waves, people will go on the piers and a big wave will sweep them off and they drown. People also get caught in undertow and drown. Swimming in the great lakes really is no different than swimming in the ocean except they don’t all have a gross fishy smell and you feel better when you get out of them because they are fresh water.

It’s always sad when a seemingly preventable accident occurs. My heart goes out to the parents. As long as there are people and water there will be drownings. Like cars and crashes.

Okay, well totally changes things then! Although it just shows one statistic, lifeguards or someone watching over you while you swim is a very effective strategy to prevent drownings.

Well, it seems there was, in fact a life guard on duty. Linked story.

Can you cut and paste the story here? You need an account in order to see it.

Opps, sorry scaru.

Township officials have closed the swimming pond on Route 94 to the public as a result of the drowning of a 4-year-old Pennsylvania boy over the weekend and to give State Police access to complete their investigation.

Samuel Vaughan, of Bushkill, Pa., was pronounced dead at Newton Medical Center at 4:40 p.m. Sunday, just over an hour after his body was pulled from the pond, said State Police spokesman Lt. Steve Jones.

On Monday, a small stuffed lamb sat on a park bench and a vase of flowers had blown over. Beside the lamb a handwritten note said: “There are no words … RIP Samuel, may God comfort your family in their time of loss.” The note was signed with a drawing of a flower.

Lafayette Mayor Gregory Corcoran said the pond would normally have closed for the season on Labor Day but was being closed a week early out of respect for the boy’s death and because the police investigation has not been completed.

Jones said State Police received the initial call about 3:30 p.m. regarding a missing child at the park and as the trooper arrived minutes later, the call had been changed to an unresponsive person found in the pond.

The police report said that when the trooper arrived, people were starting to perform CPR and he set up his Automatic External Defibrillator. About that same time, the Lafayette rescue squad arrived and used the AED on the boy. He was quickly transported to the medical center where he was later pronounced dead.

Jones said the investigation shows the boy was with a large group at the pond, which is part of the Lafayette park. He said the report notes the gathering was either a family reunion or a church

The lifeguard on duty got involved in rescuing a small girl who was having trouble swimming, officials said. As the lifeguard was bringing her to shore, a family member who had been watching Samuel discovered him missing.

A quick search of the grounds did not find the boy.

The lieutenant said the investigation shows the lifeguard cleared the pond of people and organized a search in the water as police were notified.

“They were doing an arm-in-arm search of the swimming area when the boy was found on the bottom,” Jones said.

Corcoran said the searchers were only thigh-deep and at the start of their search when the boy was found in relatively shallow water.

The spring-fed pond was created about 1980 on land that once housed the township garage, according to Corcoran. It is a multi-use recreation area, providing skating in winter when the ice is safe and fishing during appropriate seasons. The pond also serves as a water supply for fire emergencies.

Corcoran said during the summer, the pond is open for swimming from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. when a lifeguard is on duty and closed for swimming at all other times.

New Jersey Sanitary Code, which governs public recreational bathing, requires at least one lifeguard be on duty for every 300 feet of visible shoreline at all times that the bathing beach is in operation. The Lafayette pond swimming area is smaller than 300 feet.

While the mayor would not identify the lifeguard who was on duty Sunday, Corcoran said the person acted properly and “in an extremely professional manner. He handled himself in a way that I can only describe as the best anyone can ever expect from anybody.”

He said the young man’s age is not a factor.

“All I care is how capable they are,” he said. “Are they capable of doing the job they are hired to do and are they doing the job they were hired to do.”

He said he knows members of the Vaughan family and described them as multi-generational residents of Lafayette.

“This was a tragic incident,” he said, “a very tragic incident for the family, friends and the community as a whole.”

The Vaughan family lived in Newton until they moved to Bushkill two years ago.

Samuel is survived by his parents, William and Bobbie-Jo Vaughan, and brothers, Liam and Nathaniel.

He also is survived by grandparents, Jon and Hollie Vaughan, of Lafayette, and William and Missy O’Donnell, of Newton.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Assembly of God Church in Hamburg. Calling hours will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home on Main Street in Newton.

Things like this need to be a reminder to teach kids how to swim, safely handle a gun and handle themselves outdoors, not coddled away in suburbia.

Sadly it’s probably going to have the opposite effect and the youth of the area will be even more sheltered from anything more dangerous than a paper cup full of water or a butter knife.

(I was a scout since 3rd grade, could handle a bow, .22, build a fire and swim a half dozen laps of a large pool by age 7, also yes, I have had lifeguard training)