Drowning season takes toll at beaches, swimming pools

3 killed, 3 others seriously hurt over the weekend in drowning incidents; MDA urges not to bathe in beaches with no lifeguard.

June 30, 2013 17:47
3 minute read.
LAKE KINNERET’S water level dropped another 20 cm

people swimming in Kinneret 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Swimming pools and the beaches took a heavy toll over the weekend, with three people – including a 14-month-old baby – dead from drowning. Three others were seriously hurt in near-drowning incidents, Magen David Adom said on Sunday.

The first-aid and rescue organization warned parents to be actively on guard to protect children during the summer swimming season and the school vacation that has just begun.

In one tragic case, a baby, while his father went to the bathroom in the family’s home in Omer near Beersheba on Shabbat, reached the unfenced pool and drowned. MDA paramedics tried to save him with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but he was declared dead at Soroka University Medical Center.

A unconscious 60-year-old man was pulled from the water off of Bograshov Beach in Tel Aviv. Paramedics from MDA’s phone center instructed passersby on what to do until they arrived and tried to resuscitate him, but he died nevertheless.

Around noon on Shabbat, a young man was found floating unconscious in the water at Aliya Beach in Jaffa. MDA medics resuscitated the man, who is about 20, and took him to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for treatment.

Two hours later, a 57-year-old man at the Sironit Beach in Netanya was taken out of the water after he lost consciousness.

His pulse was restored, and he was taken in critical condition to Laniado Medical Center in the city.

The same day, a 21-year-old man from Jenin was pulled out of the water, also at Sironit Beach. However, efforts to save him were unsuccessful and he died.

In the evening, MDA medics were again called to the Herbert Samuel platform in Tel Aviv to save a 25-year-old man, a 22- year-old woman and a 14-yearold boy from eastern Jerusalem.

They were taken to the hospital in moderate and light condition.

At the Recital Beach on Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), a passing boat hit a 45-year-old man in the head. He was taken by MDA helicopter to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

MDA said that no one should bathe at beaches without a lifeguard present. If bathers reach the beach during unsupervised hours, they must stay out of the water completely. When swimming, stay within the line of sight of the lifeguard. If you can’t see him from the beach, he is unable to see you, and you are liable to be in danger.

“Water games” such as attempts to dunk others by jumping on them are dangerous, MDA said. Also, do not jump head first into shallow water, as it could end in a spinal accident. Don’t run around the edge of a swimming pool because you may slip.

Recognize your capabilities. Swim in water that you can cope with, and don’t reach exhaustion. If your friends are swimming farther than you are able to go, don’t join them.

Always remember that you have to swim the same distance back. Don’t swim near a current breaker, because a vortex may pull you down.

Never allow babies or toddlers to be alone in the water for even a second. The riskiest ages for drowning are up to five years old. Because their heads are relatively heavier compared to the rest of their bodies, they are liable to flip over with their heads into the water of the sea, a bathtub or even a small plastic tub; at this age, they don’t understand the danger and how to take care of themselves.

Drowning can occur within a few seconds, MDA said.

Floating plastic rings and arm floats give a false sense of security to parents. As these objects do not give full protection, one must guard children closely even if they are wearing them.

In the case of drowning, take the victim from the water without risking your own life.

Call MDA at 101. Listen to instructions on what to do before the ambulance arrives.

If the victim is not breathing (his chest is not rising and falling), lay him on his back far from the waterline and massage his chest as instructed.

Even if the person regains consciousness and feels better, he should be taken to a hospital emergency room.

Separately on Sunday, MDA received an emergency call from a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem when an eight-dayold baby lost a lot of blood after being ritually circumcised. He was taken to hospital with a suspected mild rupture of a vein.

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