I’ve never done it, but it was on my list. Parasailing; it just looks like fun, doesn’t it? After spending most of my life evaluating what is safe or going after people who weren’t, hanging from a parachute high above the water seemed like a great way to have fun. The view has to be awesome; they make you wear a life jacket so that is covered; and you’re in a parachute for goodness sake. If anything happens, you just float down to the water and wait for them to pick you up, right? Well, maybe…but that depends…on a lot.
Since 2006, In the U.S. alone, there have been 8 deaths and 38 injuries associated with para-sailing. Personally, I blame the name; “Parasailing” – it even sounds soft…sailing and parachuting, gliding through the air, adrift. But that is not what is happening.
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Lifeguards undergoing training to be proficient in their life saving skills
It’s July and hot outside and you head to the neighborhood pool for the day. The kids want to swim and you just want to be doing nothing for awhile. Everyone files through the gate as you scan for an open lounge chair and your friends. The kids have sunscreen on, you have your book, and yes – Mike is the lifeguard on duty. You like Mike. He’s a good kid and always nice to yours and he doesn’t tolerate too much funny business. He’s been a lifeguard here for three seasons now, he’s Red Cross certified, and you have seen him in action. With cat-like reflexes and keen eyes, Mike has yanked more than a his share of non-swimming kids out of the deep end. “Why don’t their parents watch them more closely?” you think. Then you crack open your book as your strong-swimming kids head into the pool under the watchful eye of good-old Mike. «Read the rest of this article»
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) released a video sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I have just watched it and I think it is absolutely excellent. The efforts of the NDPA and the CPSCs Pool Safely campaign will hopefully go a long way to reduce the number of drownings this summer and beyond. If you own a pool, please watch
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Marines from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit patrol an area of Garmsir in the Helmand province in Afghanistan on May 4, 2008. (Cpl. Alex C. Guerra, U.S. Marine Corps./D.O.D.)
I’ve always been more than a little uneasy on Veterans Day. I’ve worn a uniform most of my life and in the last decade – for obvious reasons – the number of times I hear “thank you for your service” has taken a dramatic spike. But there is a wide range of “service” out there. Recently, I was reminded of just how much difference there is between us “Vets.”
Last week I was standing in front 100 marine officers, all of who recently returned from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of them had scars (one kind or another) from their service. The glaring difference between their military experience and mine – actual combat – to one side, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what else made them so different. «Read the rest of this article»
With the weather cooling, many people are taking vacations to warmer climates including beaches. This article teaches you how to detect the signs of someone drowning.
The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!” «Read the rest of this article»
What could possibly go wrong? That is a question which doesn’t get asked often enough.
Fencing your pool is a very important safety measure you should take.
In June of 2002, it was discovered that the suction drain of a hot tub was strong enough to hold a child underwater. Seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker lost her life because a spa manufacturer did not ask the question: what could go wrong? The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was signed into law in December of 2007.
If it feels like five years was too long to wait for a regulation that makes spas and pools less able to hold children underwater – I agree. The Act calls for safety interlocks and anti-entrapment screens ─ all the things you think would be common sense, but apparently weren’t. Implementation of the law is still being worked out.
But here is the thing – the pool in the backyard is yours. You can assume that designers and manufacturers (and government regulators) thought of everything, or you can start asking your own questions. «Read the rest of this article»