Water rescue caught on camera shows how quickly drowning can happen

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - There's only a few weeks left of summer vacation for many kids across the Lowcountry. Families are getting in their last beach and pool days. While the water is a great option for cooling off from the heat, it can also be dangerous.

A water rescue Whirlin' Waters Water Park was caught on camera and has gone viral.

The manager of the water park, at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston, said he posted the video to show others just how fast something can happen when kids are swimming.

In the video, a lifeguard is seen jumping into a packed pool. A young boy who wasn't a good swimmer fell off his inner tube.

"The boy's arms went straight up in the air and it was clear that he was panicked, he was not comfortable in the water," said Kevin Rowland, Whirlin' Waters manager.

Rowland tells me the child in the video is okay, thanks to the good eye of the lifeguard. 
The water park rescues nearly 150 people from their wave pool each summer.

"There's a lot of people around its just maybe a false sense of security for some people by looking at the pool and not realizing how deep it is," said Rowland.

He says a child in distress can go completely unnoticed by parents because they don't know what to look for.

Rowland says there are many misconceptions about what drowning looks like. He says, often times, the person in distress is completely silent and can go under water within seconds.

"They're not going to be yelling for help and their mouth and nose are going to be below water," said Rowland.

He says sometimes the person in distress looks like they're trying to climb an invisible ladder.

"What they're really trying to do is push down on the water, to get their head above water, so they can take another breathe," said Rowland.

Whirlin' Waters is now using the video to teach their new lifeguards how to spot someone in distress.

"I could never find anything online that was accurate, that depicted what a real life scenario looked like," said Rowland. "It was a bunch of Hollywood things that didn't make sense and its not what you actually see."

Here are few tips to keep your child safe in the water:

  • Start your child in swim lessons early.
  • Give them life jackets or floaties if they need extra help.
  • Keep an eye on them at all times.
  • Also,  if you do see someone in distress in the water, alert a lifeguard or throw something to them to grab onto.

In some cases, getting in the water to save them yourself, can put you in danger as well.

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