OSHKOSH – With warm weather here, families took advantage of the holiday weekend to go for a swim. While swimming is a lot of fun, it can be dangerous.
Data just released by the state indicates typically 60 people drown in Wisconsin example, for example the Green Bay man who drowned in the Peshtigo River Flowage over the weekend.
Some dangers are obvious, but as FOX 11 found out others are not-so-obvious.
Elementary schooler Emma Esposito is enjoying her day off in Lake Winnebago. She says she told FOX 11 close to shore, even though she’s had swim lessons.
“Doggy paddle and to stay in one spot and move around so you don’t drown,” Esposito said, explaining what she’s learned.
Still, Emma’s uncle, Nadaniel Jones, kept a close watch.
“It’s water, you know? You never can be too careful,” Jones said.
Assistant Chief of EMS for the Fond du Lac Fire Department, Todd Janquart agrees, especially since drowning in real life isn’t like the movies. He told FOX 11 a drowning victim typically doesn’t splash or make a lot of noise.
“Drowning is a very silent process and it doesn’t take long. It takes about 60 seconds for someone to drown,” Janquart explained.
So what are the signs?
“They start to breathe faster, they start to push their hands down at the sides, under the water,” described Janquart.
The EMT told us there is also something called dry drowning. That’s when a victim inhales water, and the airway spasms shut.
“And water actually never gets into the lungs, but because the airway closes and locks shut, the muscles constrict and hold everything shut, they can’t breathe,” Janquart explained.
Then there is secondary drowning, which Janquart told us is rare. That’s when someone, usually a child, inhales water, seems fine and then can die hours later.
Janquart said that’s because some water can stay in the lungs.
“It diminishes the capacity of the lungs and body to exchange gases, get rid of carbon dioxide and take in oxygen,” he explained.
According to Janquart there will be signs, someone at risk will become very tired, sluggish and disoriented.
“When in doubt take them to a doctor,” Janquart advised.
“You have to keep a good eye on them. It’s very important, you know? You wanna keep them safe,” added Jones.
Emergency responders told us the number one rule of swimming is to always go with someone – never go alone.