Experts explain the warning signs when a swimmer is drowning - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Experts explain the warning signs when a swimmer is drowning

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

“Believe it or not, a lot of adults drown,” said Erika Janes, a Kosair Office of Child Advocacy Nurse.

Just Tuesday evening, a 49-year old man drowned while kayaking in Hardin County. It happened around 6:30 p.m. on Gallagher Lane off Springfield Road.

Officials say a caller reported seeing the man overturn his kayak, but never saw him resurface. We're told the death is being investigated as an accidental drowning. The victim's name hasn't been released.

“Without breathing for a couple minutes, just a couple minutes, your heart is going to stop,” Janes said.

An 18-year-old man from Louisville drowned while swimming in Grayson County on the Fourth of July Holiday. Investigators say Deshawn King jumped off the dock and into the water at the Panther Creek Boat Ramp near Leitchfield, Ky. King never resurfaced.

According to emergency crews, King was pulled from the water, and CPR was performed. He was then driven about a mile from the dock to meet an ambulance, but could not be saved.

“You may see someone who looks like they’re very still. They're not doing what you expect them to be doing. But honestly, with kids and most adults, they're just under the water and they're gone,” Janes said.

Janes says there are sure signs someone is drowning, and it's not what you think.

“It's absolutely the opposite of what you'd expect. In the movies, we show someone wailing the water, and splashing and screaming for help. Drowning is silent,” she said.

These are the signs:

1. Head low in the water with mouth at water level 

2. Head tilted back with mouth open 

3. Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus 

4. Eyes closed 

5. Hair over forehead or eyes 

6. Not using legs and vertical in the water 

7. Hyperventilating or gasping 

8. Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making progress 

9. Trying to roll over on the back 

10. Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder

“If you're at a pool or if you're at a lake, there has to be constant eyes, constant supervision on who is in the water,” Janes said. “Drowning is the leading cause of death nationwide for children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old.”

For more information on what to do if someone is drowning, click here

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