Just when you thought water was dangerous!!! I hadn't heard of this until a few weeks ago when a friend was at a kids swim party and one of the little ones was having trouble breathing out of the pool! They rushed him to the hospital and saved the little bugger....
Dry drowning occurs when a person's lungs become unable to extract oxygen from the air, due primarily to:
Puncture wound to the torso (affecting ability of diaphragm to create respiratory movement)
Changes to the oxygen-absorbing tissues
Persistence of laryngospasm when immersed in fluid
Prolonged exposure to a gas that displaces oxygen from the lungs (e.g. methane)
Overdose of solute free water which leads to hyponatremia and swelling in the brain
Holding one's breath (Apnea)
The person may effectively drown without any sort of liquid. In cases of dry drowning in which the victim was immersed, very little fluid is aspirated into the lungs. The laryngospasm reflex essentially causes asphyxiation and neurogenic pulmonary edema (údema).
Dry drowning can occur clinically, or due to illness or accident. It is also one of the effects of waterboarding.
Recently I had a situation while completing my 2 mile ocean swim here in Hawaii.Quick back ground, I'm a waterman, swim, surf, SUP, Kite, competitive open ocean swim races, regularly free dive to 100ft, & can hold my breath for 3.5-4 min.
None of the above mattered when I was in the middle of my ocean swim on a big trade wind day with an unusual wnw swell creating a crazy chop. I was out in the deep blue doing my bilateral breathing when I took a breath on my left side & inhaled salt water. Immediately my windpipe closed, and I couldn't take in any air.... I felt my heart rate go through the roof, I decided the only thing that would save me was to calm down and get on my back. I floated for about 15 min and I was finally able to swim the mile back.
Anyone can drown.... I've recovered four bodies over the years; drowning is ugly.
7 people dorwned in the last week here. A common denominator - cold water. Supposedly the sudden immersion in cold water can cause an involuntary inhalation. Now with the lungs more filled with water, the body will sink rather than float.
Very sad incident near my house. A drunk middle aged man was at the local swimming hole. A chant arose from the crowd to jump from the high rocks. After a bit, he did. He never came up.
Yet swiming is socially acceptable and there is little public pressure to forbid water sports - but lots of signage to outlaw jumping. Perhpas that is the approach we should take with climb. Climb what you wat, butdecking is forbidden.
Moose I recently lost a friend because of the ocean.
He drowned during his surf session.. poor guy was only 20yrs old.
swimming in the ocean can be very daunting!
I get pretty scared when a swell is big and it's not even sunrise yet!
I'm a fish. Grew up swimming in the tropical oceans, competitive swimmer, surfer and kayaker. At 11 yo I spent about 90 seconds being tumbled in Tenaya creek. Near death experience and everything. Turns out that we can't can't breathe underwater.
Kayaking is horrifying. It goes from a day at the beach to Vietnam in 2 seconds. I'm amazed how many river guides don't learn what drowning really looks like.
Also, there is such a thing as delayed drowning. Lookitup.
I spend a lot of time drown-proofing my 5 year old son.