This explains why life guards ask me if I’m OK when I’m floating around the pool, contemplating the whichness of why: “Drowning doesn’t look like drowning.”
Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect…. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. People can’t cry out or reach for a life-ring: they’re fully occupied pushing their hands down in the water and breathing. They don’t even kick. And you have only tens of seconds to get to them.