MDA's advice for a safe bathing season

During last year’s season, MDA staffers pulled 234 people of all ages from the sea, the Kinneret, pools and other swimming spots.

A swimming pool at a community in southern Israel. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A swimming pool at a community in southern Israel.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Even before the beginning of the 2018 bathing season with the start of spring last week, a toddler drowned in a rural vacation spot (bed and breakfast/zimmer) in the North, said Magen David Adom, which has issued warnings on how to prevent drownings.
During last year’s season, MDA staffers pulled 234 people of all ages from the sea, the Kinneret/Sea of Galilee, pools and other swimming spots.
A total of 124 rescues occurred in the Mediterranean Sea, 22 in the Dead Sea, eight on the beaches of Eilat, eight in the Kinneret, 40 in public pools, 22 in private pools, three at Gan Hashlosha, five in the Jordan River and two in water reservoirs throughout the country.
The number of people who drowned in beaches, ponds and reservoirs was 39, and 179 were evacuated to hospitals after cardiopulmonary resuscitation – 11 in critical condition, 23 moderate, and 145 light.
Before the swimming season began, the MDA teams were already dispatched to deal with drowning incidents throughout the country.
A family vacationing in a zimmer in the Upper Galilee near Nahariya beach drowned in the zimmer’s swimming pool.
To prevent drownings this year, MDA has made special preparations to provide lifesaving medical treatment on beaches and has deployed lifesavers in MDA stations in coastal cities, with 4x4 vehicles adapted to the beaches.
MDA urges bathing only at declared beaches and ponds under the supervision of a lifeguard. Do not enter the water if the lifeguard has left the area. Never allow babies and children to stay for a moment without the supervision of a responsible adult near water sources! Never lose eye contact with them.
Due to their body structure, in which the head is large and heavy relative to the body, they may turn head down into the water.
Children also fail to understand the nature of the danger and do not know how to be careful. Rubber and plastic inflated toys do not fully protect the child from the dangers of drowning, so an older, responsible person should stay very close to them. Drowning can occur in a matter of seconds, even is a pail with just a little bit of water.
One of the main reasons for drowning in the Mediterranean is the force of tides and vortices; anyone caught in one should not resist the current but instead wait until the water takes you out into the sea. The current will weaken and allow the person to swim relatively easily to the side and then return with the waves to the shore. If you are a strong swimmer, you can swim at 90 degrees to the current and wait for the waves to return you to shore.
Avoid dangerous games such as pushing friends into the water. Do not jump head first into shallow water, as you may hit rocks that cause spinal and head injuries. Do not run around the edge of the pool to prevent slipping.


Tags summer safety