Safety in moving water

June 14, 2011


I am responding to the news of yet another drowning in Deer Creek. Many such deaths can be avoided by an awareness of how they occur and of what to do. A person standing on rocks in moving water that is only as high as their knees can easily lose their balance and as their foot slips it can wedge into a crevice in the rocks. The enormous power of the moving water will push them down and hold them down, resulting in a drowning death. To avoid foot entrapment, one can fall backwards into an imaginary inner tube, drawing up the knees and feet out of harms way.

Then the hands and arms swing the feet downstream to meet obstacles, protecting the head. The stream can then be exited from an eddy or pool. Of course, this must be planned and executed in advance, before the foot slips and becomes entrapped.

Ralph Scoville

Havre de Grace

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