How to Save a Drowning Person If You Don’t Know How to Swim

According to experts, a drowning person has roughly 3 minutes of survival underwater before all oxygen is used up and the brain is damaged, water fills the lungs, and the heart stops beating.

This is why every second counts when trying to save a drowning person – in the same way that it is very important to keep an eye on children and even adults who do not know how to swim because they could die so quickly.

But if you do not know how to swim and there’s no one around who knows how to, how can you save a drowning person from dying?

The first rule: Do not attempt to dive in and save the drowning person if you do not know how to swim! Doing so would endanger your own life – and would not even guarantee that you can save the other person.

Instead, do the following.


Use a long object such as a pole or a lifesaver/floater attached to a rope. Just make sure you would not fall into deep water if the drowning person accidentally pulls the other end with huge force. If possible (but make sure to do it quickly), tie the end of the pole to a sturdy object such as railings or a tree so you would not fall in and add trouble to other rescuers.

If there are no floaters or lifesavers around, throw the drowning person an empty gallon of water attached to a rope. Make sure to cap the gallon so that it will float.

Another good option is for you and other people hold each other’s hands and try to reach the victim – but this will only work if all of you know how to float (in case of deep waters like the swimming pool) or if the ground is sloping (such as at the beach) to ensure that the rescuers (who presumably do not know how to swim) can still have their feet firmly on the ground so they would not drown, too.

Still, the best way to prevent drowning is to learn how to swim! Prevention, after all, is still better than cure (and rescue missions). So, as much as possible, ensure that you and your family (and friends!) learn how to swim. Learning how to rescue drowning people should be next on your list of lessons.

We sure hope this article could help save lives…