Nav: Home

Rescuers often driven by emotion

June 11, 2019

Scientists from James Cook University and Royal Life Saving Society - Australia have found reason can go out the window when people's family members, children and pets are in trouble in the water, and people should be better trained in water rescue skills.

JCU's Associate Professor Richard Franklin was part of a study that examined successful rescues, and drownings where someone had died trying to rescue another in trouble in the water.

He said many drowning prevention organisations emphasise the need for people to think about whether they can safely complete a rescue before they attempt it.

"What we have found is that about half of all those being rescued were close family or friends of the rescuer, and half were aged under 10 years. It's possible that thoughts of self-preservation go out the window when the potential drowning victim is from these groups," Dr Franklin said.

He said that seventeen rescuers drowned between 2002 and 2017 while trying to rescue children, while another six who died between January 2006 and December 2015 were trying to rescue a dog.

He said another piece of information was also important.

"About 14 % of the people who had completed a rescue were either current or former lifeguards, and none of them drowned in the attempt. This was almost certainly due to their training and experience," he said.

Dr Franklin said the scientists were calling for skills on safe rescues and effective resuscitation to be taught in high schools and regularly renewed.

"It's best to use primary prevention methods - targeted interventions such as concentrating on specific age groups, locations or activities - to prevent drownings, but we think secondary prevention measures such as rescues and resuscitation are also important for reducing the drowning toll," he said.

Amy Peden, Senior Research Fellow with Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, and an author of the paper, encouraged people to learn resuscitation and consider participating in a Bronze Medallion course.

"Most of those in our study were unprepared for undertaking rescues and often acted in the heat of the moment, to rescue a loved one. Having the skills to act in an emergency is vital to reducing the risk and avoiding an all too common scenario, the rescuer who drowns," she said.
-end-
Background:

In Australia an average of 281 people die from drowning annually and, on average, a further 474 are hospitalised due to non- fatal drowning.

Forty-two (82.4%) of those who drowned while performing a rescue were male.

People aged 25-34 years (27.5%) and 35-44 years (25.5%) were the leading age groups who drowned while performing a rescue.

The World Health Organisation estimates there are 372,000 drowning deaths per annum globally.

James Cook University

Related Children Articles:

Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.
Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.
Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).
Children with autism are in 'in-tune' with mom's feelings like other children
New research addresses limitations of prior autism spectrum disorder (ASD) studies on facial emotion recognition by using five distinct facial emotions in unfamiliar and familiar (mom) faces to test the influence of familiarity in children with and without ASD.
Fractures in children often indicate abuse
Physical abuse in children often remains undetected. Atypical fractures may indicate such abuse.
More Children News and Children Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...