• Published
  • By Beery Miller
  • Power Parachutist
  • In all drowning events, medical personnel must be consulted, even if it appears the victim is OK. Secondary drowning can occur even when the victim is immediately resuscitated with no apparent problems. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, you only need to inhale four ounces of water to drown and even less to injure the lungs and become a victim of secondary drowning. Infections of the lungs and secondary drowning are always of concern, even a couple of days after exposure, doctors said.
  • Don't assume the people closest to the incident will respond. The only people who responded to our emergency were folks familiar with the flying equipment and specifically aware of the hazards associated with water landings and being trapped in the gear. If you need somebody to do something, point out the person and tell them "Do it!"
  • Get trained in first aid and CPR. Also, despite the hopelessness of the situation as you first come onto the scene, do all you have been trained to do. It can still have a positive outcome. None of us thought our victim would survive, but he did.
  • When entering the water, get rid of excess clothing. Had the pilot been in deeper seas, having jeans and shirts on would have been a serious problem.
  • Manage the rescue scene to improve survival odds. For instance, don't just plunge in without first directing someone to call 9-1-1; time is critical.