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Can you swim? Six kids in Louisiana couldn't.

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Gomer, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Six kids drowned trying to save their friend. Horrifying stuff.


    If as many people can't swim as the story implies, I'm amazed this doesn't happen more often. But in my neighbourhood growing up, everybody knew how to swim. I never thought about swimming as something that's class or racially biased.
  2. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That's horrifying for more than one reason.

    I don't understand the whole "we didn't have access to pools, so we didn't learn how to swim" concept. Lots of people learn to swim in rivers, bays, lakes, etc.

    I'm curious to know how deep this water is before it suddenly drops off to 20 or 30 feet. And I assume there are no signs along or near the water's edge to indicate such a drop exists.

    Bottom line, obviously these people weren't nearly as familiar with the water as the story claims they were. How tragic.
  3. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    I've honestly never understood how people die like that. I mean, humans float at least a little bit. ... I can see it being different in the water was raging, though.

    I have a friend, the most sheltered kid in the world. His parents should be in prison for how they raised him: wouldn't let him play even high school sports -- cross country and basketball were what he wanted to do -- because they were too dangerous. Wouldn't let ever go anywhere or do anything. Not crazy religious, just crazy protective. He's 30, has never moved away from home and has absolutely no plans too. He still can't go out at night without asking permission.

    Anyway, a while back, when we were all still in college, we went out to the lake one day to ride some jet skis my parents owned. (He had to lie about what we were doing to be able to leave.) He had never ridden a jet ski before, of course, or been on a boat. Or even been in any body of water more substantial than his bathtub. He got on one of them just as a passenger, but of course it wouldn't start because they never do at first, so he hopped off and I went to work trying to fix it. We're in about 2 feet of water at this point, 15 feet from the shore. When he hopped off, he kind of fell to his knees in the water and his head dipped in. We all kind of stood there for a long 30 seconds and he thrashed around a little, but not a ton. Finally, one of my friends pulled him up by the back of his lifejacket and, I guess, saved his life. He seriously almost drowned in two feet of water. He couldn't even stand up in it.

    I have no idea how some people can be so bad in water, but apparently they are. I've known how to swim and been comfortable in water as long as I can remember.
  4. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    Mine didn't, but I know some universities required graduates learn how to swim.

    Seems kind of silly, but it certainly wouldn't hurt everyone to at least know the basics.
  5. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Even just to know how to float and doggie paddle is something everyone I know learned at age five. Just boggles my mind.

    Two feet of water? What, was he suicidal?
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    This reminds me of Joe Delaney.

    I ran a lake at a summer camp for nine summers that was populated by wealthy kids from the New York area. Probably 4,000-5,000 diferent kids swam in the water, and we did not have one active drowning in nine years.

    A kid who guarded for me went on to work at a public lake above the city where all social class swam. They did 15-20 saves a day. The people were too "dumb" to know that they could not swim when they jumped into the deep water.

    Swimming is taught by parents who care for their children or have the instincts to care for their children, and these people tend to be in the middle and higher social classes.

    The lower social classes have a higher number of people that cannot swim.
  7. Crash

    Crash Active Member

    I started swimming lessons before I was two years old. I can't even fathom not knowing how to swim.
  8. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    The people in the "lower social classes" care for their children too. But if you grew up and never learned to swim and you're struggling to pay bills as it is, swim lessons aren't going to be high on the priority list.
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    My alma mater used to require a swim test until the 1970s or early 80s. A couple of professors used to tell us about it. They said it was actually pretty funny, where during the last few weeks of school, you would see a mass of people jumping in the pool, swimming to the other side, and getting out.
  10. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    We had to pass a swimming test during freshmen orientation week. This was in 1972. If you flunked, your freshman PE changed from a mandatory course, with your choice of activity, to mandatory swimming.
  11. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Rash of drownings in southern Ontario this summer in lakes, hotel pools, back yard pools etc.

    My wife and I learned to swim at a young age and Huggy Jr. was no fan of the water until he was five or so. He was clinging to the wall in the shallow end of the pool when we were on vacation and his hands slipped and under he went. He bopped back up sputtering and spitting and near tears but from that moment on he became far more comfortable in the water and if there is a pool around you can't get him out of it. He continues his lessons every year but he knows his limits.
  12. jlee

    jlee Active Member

    Tragic, terrible story. I cannot imagine how the young man who survived feels.

    A sudden drop into 20 feet of river water is nothing to snort at if you're disoriented -- which I imagine the first kid was -- or panicked -- which I imaging his six friends and siblings were. The fact that no adult could swim, and thus protect their children from an accident like this, is the most disturbing fact to me.
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