Swim Safe: Scottsdale YMCA on how to safely rescue someone from the water

Reach and throw, don't go!
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 9:27 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — When someone in the water is in danger of drowning, your first impulse might be to jump in and grab them. Don’t do it, regardless of the person’s age, says a Scottsdale YMCA spokesperson. Shelbi Schmidt, Scottsdale YMCA’s associate executive director of aquatic, said, “We want them to reach or throw. Don’t go.”

What you do is you reach out to the victim with a long item like a pool noodle, a pool skim, a pool net, etc., and encourage them to grab on so you can pull them toward you and have them climb out.

When the victim is further away, throw a floating item toward the victim and encourage them to move toward you while holding the floating item. “There’s no logic happening [when drowning]. The victim is just grabbing onto whatever they can to get to safety,” Schmidt said. “You can use whatever to help someone float — a basketball, a cooler, floaties, floaty rings, etc.!

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