Rash of California Drownings – Protecting Your Family

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Suffocation under the waters

Drowning victim

On one side of the argument, people argue that global warming is causing the recent California heat wave. On the other side of the coin, others say that the climate is constantly changing and shifting. Whatever the cause of this recent heat wave in the Golden State, one this is clear. When it gets hot, the effect is that people take their kids and themselves to swimming pools and beaches. Not everyone is as experienced at floatation and swimming however, and the more people in bodies of water, the more potential there is of becoming submerged and being unable to breathe. If the victim is not rescued quickly, they can breathe in water and become asphyxiated.

If the drowning victim does not die, he or she can be left with brain injuries, a coma, and permanent vegetative state. Recognizing who the high risk victims are, is the first step in preventing these horrible tragedies. This is every person’s, especially a parent’s nightmare. Case in point, Orange County officials are on high alert after a rash of drowning incidents, mostly involving kids. One example includes a Garden Grove a teenager identified as a 15 year old male. He drowned in Orange County, and is the latest in a number of these deadly incidences.

The drowning occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, near Magnolia on Desmond Street at a pool party, where he was found at the bottom of the pool.  According to officials, they responded to five calls during a three day period in water accidents with two downings and two near drowning in Orange County alone, occurring in either swimming pools or spas.

Three water mishaps on Friday involved a two year old boy who nearly drowned in a swimming pool in Santa Ana. His condition remains serious. The second involved a 53 year old man that drowned in an Irvine condo complex Friday. The third drowning happened at a Costa Mesa hotel involving a 57 year old woman who was swimming in the hotel pool. Saturday, a 3 year old girl came close to drowning in an Irvine spa and remains in critical condition. At the time of the incident the father of the toddler was close by barbecuing.

According to Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi children can drown within seconds without making any noise, without splashing or yelling. Once a child goes under the captain said they panic breathing under the water and attempting to yell with no one hearing them. Captain Concialdi said five drowning in one weekend is too many and wants to ensure the word is out to reduce the numbers of water related mishaps from 2013. During 2013 in Orange County that the Fire Authority responded too were 73 with 37 resulting in fatalities.

Some Tips to Avoid Drowning

Currently the number of water emergencies the Orange County Fire Authority have responded to this year is 68, with 30 being fatalities. Captain Concialdi said parents can help ensure safety of children by keeping them within their arms length when near or in the water. He said even experienced swimmers can have unexpected emergencies when swimming. From an injury lawyer’s perspective, the first thing any person must do before headed to a water recreation area, is ascertain if the pool or beach area has a lifeguard on duty. If not, unless there is a strong, trained swimmer in the vicinity, it is folly for a parent or anyone else who is a poor swimmer to supervise children at or near a swimming pool.

Sometimes it is better to go to a secured, paid facility with a lifeguard on duty. Although this can help avoid risks, it does not prevent them. One waterpark, in particular that I have observed with good guards is Legoland.  But again, this security feature is not failsafe device. Obviously, for grown ups, don’t drink, or do drugs and swim. It goes without saying that an inebriated parent is a worthless lifeguard. Beyond that, the most important thing to do is to make sure to avoid distractions while at the pool area. This goes for the person in the water as well.

What Do I Do If Someone Drowned?

The first thing to do is get the victim out of water, and clear the lungs. Do what you can to help the victim breathe and render CPR. During the period, you, or someone must call 9-11, or find a way to rush the the victim to the hospital if you are unable to get first responders to the drowning scene rapidly. Every second counts in saving lives (Read more.)  Once the victim is evacuated, start gathering evidence. If it can be determined that a landlord, lifeguard or other person is totally or partially responsible for the drowning, they are on the hook for some or all of the medical or other damages that arose from the drowning.
Of course, personal injury attorneys who specialize in drowning incidents may also have some ideas as to how to help, but what they will advise a survivor to do, will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But it would also be helpful to call one if you are in a bad spot, with no where to turn. We have a legal directory on this site of vetted lawyers to choose from. Take a look and see if one of them can help you.