Swimming instructor provides tips to avoid drowning

Seven drown in less than a month

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — With seven drownings in less than a month and authorities warning parents and guardians to be more vigilant while visiting the beach, Charles Sealy, swimming instructor at Evolve Fitness, said yesterday that there are techniques that can be used in certain circumstances to prevent drowning.

Two young men drowned Monday. On the victims was 14-year-old Ethan Miller, who family said was an “excellent swimmer”.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Sealy said there a number of factors that can lead to even strong swimmers drowning while in the water.

Evolve teaches fundamental and advanced swimming, as well as several lifesaving techniques.

According to Sealy, “the best thing you can do is be aware of your surroundings, know your swimming level before you take on certain experiences and try to get involved in a program that can help you to learn how to swim.”

According to Sealy, if that method fails and a person is in distress, and finds themselves going beneath the surface, Sealy said it is important tread water and “go on your back and try to catch a good float, and try to get as much oxygen into your body as possible”.

For non-swimmers, Sealy the best thing they can do is to attempt to get on their back and float while calling for help.

In cases where someone experiences challenges in the water while fully clothed, and is unable to swim or stay afloat, Sealy said, “Just take your shirt off, tie it to the top and use it almost like a parachute system, and you can do the same thing with a pair of pants.

“Tie off the two legs and also the waist, allow water to fill it up and use it as a life jacket.”

Ultimately, Sealy said to avoid unfortunate incidents in the water it is critical for beachgoers to learn how to swim proficiently.

“Find a program where you can learn how to swim as soon as possible,” he said.

“We have a lot of adults, who want their children to learn how to swim, but they themselves cannot swim.

“I think the entire family needs to ensure that they not only understand how to swim, but also [understand] safety skills while swimming as well.”

Miller, drowned at Long Wharf Beach shortly before 3 p.m. Monday.

Another young man drowned at Lover’s Beach in Hepburn Town shortly after 4 p.m. that day.

Two more men drowned over the weekend in separate incidents.

American Molly Greene, 72, drowned in Abaco on July 17.

Dustin Ranger, 18, drowned in Eleuthera the day before.

Authorities warned the general public to supervise young children and young adults who may not be strong swimmers, noting that a life vest is always advisable for those who cannot swim.