Tow Rescue (Enter the water)

If a Casualty is out of reach, entry into the water with a rescue aid may be the fastest and most effective rescue for the casualty.

Make sure you are a good swimmer and use either side stroke, breast stroke or head up front crawl to keep the casualty in your sight.

Always take a piece of rescue equipment (see part 1) with you as getting too close to the casualty. This is what is called the contact zone. In this zone the casualty can grasp at you and clamp onto you.  This can stop them being able to swim and could lead to both of you drowning. A distressed casualty may try to grab you if you get too close.  Keep at least TWO Metres away from the casualty until you’re ready to put your action plan into place.

  • Shout for assistance yourself as there maybe someone in the area that can help
  • Talk/shout to casualty and let them know what you are going to do, telling them to calm down
  • Swim out to the casualty keeping the 2-meter distance
  • Throw the rescue aid to the casualty aiming to land just in front or to the side of the head
  • Tell them to hold the rescue aid firmly with two hands
  • Tell them to keep looking at you and to kick their legs firmly
  • Swim sidestroke keeping an eye on your casualty talking to them all the time and pull the rescue aid until the casualty can hopefully stand
  • They may require assistance to help them out of the water
  • Keep them warm and watch for hypothermia and shock
  • Call an ambulance 999/112

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