A teachable moment for swim instructors and lifeguards has arisen from a heroic rescue of a drowning teenager in Puerto Rico by a tourist on the shore.
Jean Pendrich, a former champion swimmer for Scotland, swam through 5 foot waves to reach the boy
and tow him back. She said of the rescue, "“I reassured him everything would be all right but I was exhausted. I was swallowing lots of water and he was in such shock he couldn’t kick his legs."
The magical words are "he was in such shock he couldn't kick his legs."
If you saw my LinkedIn comment a few weeks ago about how lifeguards need to be able to detect the stages of drowning, you read the explanation of, "he was in such shock he couldn’t kick his legs."
His inability to kick is evidence of this boy's leaving his body. We leave our bodies when we're terrified and when we're dying (and when we fall asleep, and at other times). We go out through the top of our heads. The first stage is losing presence in our feet. The next stage is losing presence from our knees up to our chest (or so). This is where this boy was since he was unable to kick at all. The next stage is leaving up to his neck, in which case he would not be able to move his legs or his arms.
The boy had left his body up to his chest. This is why he could not kick.
These are the stages of leaving:
Remember this when you watch people swimming. Look for this movement of a person's spirit (not their body) and you will detect drownings in the making long before an emergency blooms.
How do you learn to see this?
Take the Miracle Swimming Instructor Training. It teaches you how to work with people who panic in the water and how to teach them to prevent panic and remain in control. You'll learn it for yourself, too.