Recognition and observation of potential rescue victims in an open water environment

TitleRecognition and observation of potential rescue victims in an open water environment
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsRichardson, WJ
Conference NameInternational Medical-Rescue Conference
Date Published09/1997
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationSan Diego, California, USA
Call Number26
Other Numbers227
Abstract

The following presentation will focus on the first of five basic premises related to one of the primary lifeguard responsibilities, that of rescue response.

The five premises of rescue response are:

  • Know how to recognize trouble
  • Know how to get to the victim
  • Know what to do with the victim in the water
  • Know how to get back with the victim
  • Know what to do with the victim once back on shore

While rescue is one of the primary responsibilities of lifeguards, the most important responsibility must be prevention. Because time is the most critical of all factors, the recognition of potential victims is key to the preventative lifesaving model. Lifeguards must be well trained in the observation of swimmers for signs of distress certainly, but they must also be trained to observe beach clientele for indications of their swimming ability and rescue potential even before they enter the water.

In order to provide the essential elements of preventative lifeguarding this report considers all factors including the environment, beach topography, dry land observations and specific observations relative to individuals presentations in the water as a vital part of scanning the surf for potential rescues.

The information presented here comes from the United States Lifesaving Association Manual of Open Water Lifesaving, with some elements extracted from the first USLA training manual, Lifesaving and Marine Safety