DULUTH, MN — Authorities say stepping in to save a life could put your own life at risk; however, if you find up in a similar situation as the Good Samaritans on Little Grand Lake, they have some tips on how you can safely help someone out of the water.
If you come across someone drowning or unconscious in the water, Superior Fire officials say you should follow these guidelines to prevent yourself from getting into trouble also.
Battalion Chief Scott Gordon says the first thing to do is call 911. While that may seem common sense to some, he says it should be the top priority in these situations.
Gordon says most people drown in shallow waters, and if bystanders see someone in distress, you should calmly ask if they can touch the ground with their feet.
He adds that if you are close enough to the person, you can try reaching out to them or throwing a safety preserver, such as a rope or life jacket, toward them.
“Our saying is reach, throw, row, go with support as a last resort. So if you can reach someone from i.e. your boat great. If you can throw something to them like a rope or if you have a life safety ring great. Going into the water is a scary proposition,” said Gordon.
He also stresses that if you are to go in the water, be sure you have the necessary tools to keep yourself safe, but if possible, wait until first responders arrive on scene.
Other guidelines to keep in mind:
When swimming,always wear a life jacket
Avoid swimming near boats and jet skis in the case an electrical shock circuit is to break – they aren’t common, but can occur