Shreveport swimmer nearly drowns, sparks pool safety awareness

Published: Jun. 10, 2014 at 10:41 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2014 at 12:01 AM CDT
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This life-saving ring is just one a few life saving devices.
This life-saving ring is just one a few life saving devices.

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - After a Shreveport teenager almost drowned this past weekend, The Swim School in Shreveport-Bossier City offered some safety tips to make sure summer fun is also safe.

Facility Manager Elaine Durbin said the first thing to remember is something simple but important.

"You definitely need to enroll in swim lessons for sure," she said.

and parents of younger swimmers should always have their children in proper safety attire.

"Floaties are not acceptable as a floatation device," Durbin said. "You want to make sure your children or adults have life jackets."

Heather Lincoln is a swim instructor at The Swim School.  She said those who don't know how to swim shouldn't jump in to save someone else.  Rather, that person should use live saving equipment, like safety rings.

"All pools are required to have one of these by the pool," Lincoln said. "If you do see someone in distress you never want to go in after them because then that will be two people in the water that could be drowning. So you always want to throw something that floats to them."

Once someone reaches the floatation device, the best thing to do is hold on with both hands so the life saving ring keeps that person afloat so they can either paddle to the nearest wall or wait until somebody comes to help.

Instructors also urge swimmers to be aware of deep drop offs.

"Some pools have like a gradual slope going down.  It's just like a straight drop like a cliff hanger basically," said swim instructor Ricco Williams.

Another life-saving pool tool is the shepherd's hook, which is a long pole with a hook on the end of it. The person in distress should grab the hook and hold on until brought to safety.

Lincoln said all apartment pools are required to have one on hand.

If there is a life guard on duty or someone comes to save you, instructors urge people to not panic because it could endanger the life of both the victim and the rescuer.

For more information on the The Swim School and the programs it offers, click here.

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