If someone were drowning, would you know what to do?

When we become submerged in water, it can enter the lungs and cause suffocation.

It should be noted that even after a water rescue, a casualty is still at risk, even if they appear to have recovered. Even a small amount of residual fluid left in the lungs can lead to lung irritation. This affects the oxygen transfer between the lungs and bloodstream. Even with an apparent full recovery from near-drowning, the casualty can still ‘secondary drown’ up to 72 hours later.

If you have attended a SkillBase First Aid course, you should use your emergency plan to manage a drowning emergency. Join a First Aid course today! 

Check for danger

You should consider your own safety. If you are not trained in water rescue, or not a strong swimmer, you may be putting yourself in danger by attempting to rescue the casualty. Try and use life aids wherever possible.

Call for help

Call an ambulance and send for a defib, even if the casualty appears to have recovered. Take a look at our handy guide to using a defib here.


Place in the recovery position.

Not breathing?

Use basic life support (CPR). You can find out more about how to perform CPR here.



Water safety tips!

– Never let young children out of your reach, supervision is key for preventing serious accidents

– Check you are in a safe water area

– Do not swim or dive from rocks, piers or breakwater

– Know your water safety signage

– Do not use inflatables in open water


Whilst we hope you never need to use it, it is unthinkable to us that you might not know what to do in an emergency… that’s why we are proud to be the hero-makers at SkillBase First Aid – providing a wide range of First Aid training to ensure you would know what to do in any emergency. Find out more about SkillBase First Aid training here!


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