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Rescue Stories



  • I am hoping some of the guards on here will share stories of some of the rescues and incidents they have experienced. Many such stories are both interesting to read and help give fellow guards ideas on how to better themselves.

    There are many crazy things that can happen at a pool that require a lifeguard's intervention. It is good for other guards to learn of what can happen and what they should be looking for in order to prevent rescues.

    Yes, that's right, I said prevent rescues. The best rescue is the one you don't have to do. Certain situations can be predicted and the best lifeguards know how to step in to prevent something from happening before it becomes something worse. Not all of the stories I want to tell are ones I am proud of, but sometimes, we learn much more from our mistakes than from our successes.

    So, without further ado, let's hear some stories.



  • So, I'd like to start off with something that happened at my pool this summer. A member at my pool had invited several of her friends to come over to the pool and bring their children. One of the mothers arrived on the late side and brought her young son and daughter towards the pool so she could speak to the other mothers who were already in the pool. While they were talking, her son took off his shirt and proceeded to enter the pool. While he was rather young, he seemed confident and the mother seemed ok with him entering the pool, so I returned to my chair while continuing to scan the pool. I stood up so I could watch the young boy better. Sure enough, he quickly started sinking once he reached the end of the steps. Thankfully, the mother who was in the water was able to quickly grab him while I was running towards them so I didn't have to enter the pool. Seems like the story would be over as the moms and I ensured the boy was ok, right? However, we were all focused on the young boy. I should have known better and continued my scan, but I too was focused on the boy who had been quickly removed from the pool and was quite scared as he was recovering on the side of the pool. His little sister who was even younger and smaller than he was entered the pool down the steps and quickly sank under the surface. Thankfully the mom who was still in the water was able to grab the boy's sister as well. It all worked out in the end, but I learned an important lesson not to become too focused on the victim after an incident. Another drowning incident can happen right after, especially when everyone is riding an adrenaline high and focused on the victim.

    So, I hope all you lifeguards out there will learn from my story and keep scanning the pool at all times, even right after a rescue.


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