Aqua Fitness/Water Safety
Basil Razi (AWW)
- What are some of the visual signs that will indicate a rip is present?
Before you try to locate a rip it must be understood what a rip is. A rip current, rip tide or rip is a strong surface flow of water returning seaward from nearer the shore. Although rip currents would exist even without the tides, the tides can make the existing rip more dangerous, especially low tide. Rips can move to different locations on a beach break, up to tens of metres a day. They can occur at any beach with breaking waves.
Some of the visual signs that will indicate a rip is present are:
- Calm water caused by the channel of water flowing out
- Colour of water may be different from the surrounding area, usually brown; this is because of the sand being pulled away from the beach
- The water line is lower on the shore near a rip current
- Water moving in swells toward the beach, pushes against the beach, and then goes back out. It then forms into dark, choppy rivers within the ocean, this is the fatal rip currents
- This dark patch is wider at the beach that is the mouth of the rip current, and then it is straight out or at a slight angle into the ocean. The far end of the rip current usually forms a large roundish shape and is known as the head of the rip current
- Look for debris r foam floating
- NOTE: It is better to look for a rip, from a higher perspective
- What steps would you advise swimmers to take if they were caught in a rip?
Swimmers if they are ever caught in a rip, their first step should be to follow the three R’s: Relax—stay calm, and float with the current, swim across it not against, Raise—raise an arm to signal for help and Rescue—float and wait for help.
The general steps are:
- Try to relax and just stay afloat – the water may pull you out into the ocean DON’T panic
- Once you feel the force begin to lessen, swim either to your right or to your left, parallel to the shore. Rips are usually about 10 metres to 30 metres wide.
- A strong swimmer can swim at 45o across the rip
- Once out of the rip tide, try to swim back to shore normally, or signal for help
- The Term Surf Awareness requires the swimmer to be acknowledgeable in a number of areas. Give a brief outlines of safety considerations involved with the following:
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DIFFERENT WAVE TYPES
- Safest waves on which to surf/swim in
- In the right conditions they can form tubes
- Found in most areas with relatively flat shorelines or sheltered areas
- Most common type of shore-break
- These never actually break as they approach the water’s edge because the water below them is very deep
- Very dangerous to rock fishermen. They cannot be easily seen and can drag them into the sea
- Around beach, they knock swimmers off their feet and carry them into deeper water
- They tend to form on steep shorelines and in deeper
- These types break suddenly and can ‘dump’ swimmers head first—pushing to the seabed with a great force – usually tonnes
- Being dumped can cause spinal injuries in the worst case
- If you are picked up by a dumping wave, you should keep your arm in front of you head as it will act as a barrier in case you do hit the sea floor
- With your arm extended to absorbs some of the shock landing and allows you to roll over, rather than straight down into the sea bed
- Strong offshore winds and long wave periods can cause these waves
- Often found where there is a sudden rise in the sea flow, such as a reef or sandbar. Or in the presence of strong wind
- Preferred waves for experienced surfers
BLUE BOTTLE STING
The blue bottle (Portuguese Man O’War) is found in t warm water in all areas of the world’s seas. The sting inflicted by its tentacles, which can be up to 10 metres long, causes intense pain for about 45 minutes after which it seems to subside. There are some safety precautions with the blue bottle:
- If you see the blue float, and it is about 5 metres way, don’t think you are safe, as it tentacles below the water, can be close to you thank you can imagine!
- The best treatment for blue bottle stings it to remove any remains of the creature from the skin, using an object rather than finger or any other part of the skin is preferred.
- Then apply SALTY water (not fresh as it makes it worse) in the first instance, following an application of HOT water (≈45oC) to the affected area, the hot and salty water neutralise the toxins from the sting.
- If the stinging doesn’t subside or if no hot water is available then ice should be applied, an icepack is preferred and with some pressure—this suppresses any swelling and pain. The ice constricts blood vessels, reducing the speed at which the venom travels to other body parts. HOT AND ICE SAME TIME OR NOT?
- The stung area should NOT be rubbed with sand or a towel, nor washed with alcohol or vinegar, this will make the pain worse
SAFE SWIMMING IN THE SURF
When swimming in the ocean/beach, to ensure that you or anyone else doesn’t get hurt you must follow some simple safety rules:
- Only swim between the red and yellow flags at the beach—the flags indicate the safest place to swim
- Always swim or surf at places patrolled by lifeguards or lifesavers
- Always swim under supervision
- Never swim or surf under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Observe and obey all signs
- If you are unsure about surf conditions, ask a lifeguard or lifesaver
- Don’t swim directly after a meal
- When swimming or surfing outdoors use 15+ sunscreen and wear a shirt and hat or other protective gear.
- Learn how to check for rips and lookout for them.
- Keep the beach environment clean
- If you get in trouble in the water, stay calm and signal for help by holding up one arm and waving, float and wait
BASIC SPORTS INJURY
The RICER technique is an effective form of treating many sports injuries. Explain each step and this technique in detail.
- Rest the injured area
- Reduces further damage
- Avoid as much movement as possible
- Don’t put any weight in the injured part of the body
- Apply an ice pack to the injury for 20 minutes every hour – if ice pack is placed too long then blood supply will be cut off to the cells
- Continue this treatment for the first 48 – 72 hours, in some cases
- Place cold pack wrapped in towel onto the injured area. DO NOT place ice directly to skin can cause frostbite or ice burn
- Ice cools the tissue and reduces pain, swelling and bleeding
- Take care with people sensitive to cold such as children or people with circulatory problems
- Wrap the area with an crepe/elastic bandage, covering the injured area as well as surrounding areas
- Compression reduces bleeding and swelling
- Make sure the bandage is not on too tight; the person should be able to no pins and needles or numbness should be experienced, this also allows for some swelling
- Elevate the injured area—gravity will drain the blood from the injured area to stop bleeding and swelling
- Place in injured area on a pillow for comfort and support
- For best results the injured area should be above the heart
- After all the other RICER steps have been taken, the patient should be taken to the doctor
- This allows professional diagnosis and treatment
Give a brief description of ALL relevant factors in each of the following steps of effective resuscitation techniques: DRAB (CPR)
- Assess the situation and ensure the safety of yourself, the casualty and others
- Make sure everyone is away from any body of water or exposed electrical wiring
- You will be useless if you become injured as well – more problems are created
- This is assessing whether the injured is conscious or unconscious
- COWS rule:
- Can you hear me?
- Open your eyes
- What’s your name
- Squeeze my hands (put both of you hands in both of the casualty’s hands, not just one in case of injury)
- For a baby, try to get a response by tickling feet, rubbing forehead and by talking to them.
- Any response is sign on consciousness, all you need to do is calmly manage injuries whilst providing reassurance
- No response indicated that the casualty is unconscious and it is important to get help as quickly as possible as this is a life-threatening condition.
- Call ambulance immediately
- Or shout “Help, there’s been an accident” loudly to get attention so someone else can call—never assume this is done. Always double-check
- The airway can be obstructed from items such as food, teeth, vomit, blood, etc. Even the tongue is a potential airway hazard in an unconscious casualty. A clear airway means they can breathe
- Open the airway by gently lifting the chin, which moves the jaw forward and tilts the head backward. This allows air to enter through the nose and mouth into the lungs.
- To check the airway, the following steps must be followed:
- Turn the casualty to their side, keeping their back and neck as straight as possible - this is better done with more than one person
- If there is liquid then it should drain out, for solids use your fingers
- Don’t put your finger in too far, as it may cause the person to vomit
- After the unconscious casualty’s airway is cleared, the next step is to check for breathing. This is done by the ‘LOOK, LISTEN, FEEL’ method:
- Gently place your hand on the diaphragm (above the belly button, under the ribs) of the casualty
- Put your ear over the casualty’s nose and mouth – not touching
- LOOK at your hand. Is it moving with the rise and fall of the casualty’s breathing?
- LISTEN for any breathing with your ear close to casualty’s mouth
- FEEL for any evidence of breathing both with your hand on the diaphragm and for nay breath on your ear
- If the casualty is breathing:
- Put the casualty in the recovery position. This is laying on the side for a child/adult, head tilted back and mouth tilted toward the ground. For a baby, they should be in your arms face-down with a clear airway, make sure there are no fingers near the throat.
- If the casualty is not breathing:
- Give the casualty tow rescue breaths. This differs depending on age
- Baby (up to 12 months of age):
- No head tilt is required (though chin should not be on the chest)
- Put tour mouth over the baby’s nose and mouth
- Blow two very soft ‘puffs” of air into the baby’s lungs – about the same force as blowing out a candle
- Child (1-8 years of age):
- Half a head tilt is required. Place one hand on the forehead, the other on the chin (not the throat) and tilt the head back half-way.
- Pinch the child’s nose closed
- Completely cover the child’s mouth with our mouth
- Blow two small breaths of air into the child’s lungs
- Adult (9+ years of age):
- Full head tilt is required. Place one hand on the forehead, the other on the chin (not the throat) and tilt the head back as far back as it will naturally go without force.
- Pinch the casualty’s nose closed
- Completely cover the casualty’s mouth with our mouth
- Blow two full breaths of air into the casualty’s lungs
- If a casualty is unconscious with no breathing, start compressions immediately:
- Place your index and middle fingers in the centre of the baby’s chest, between the nipples
- Child and Adult
- Place the heel of your hand in the centre of the chest, between the casualty’s nipples (your middle finger in line with the casualty’s armpit for an adult.)
- Regardless of age:
- Give 30 compressions at the rate of 100 compressions per minute (approx 2 compression per second)
- At 1/3 depth of the casualty’s chest
- After the 30 compressions, give two more breaths of air, being mindful of casualty’s age
- Continue the cycle of 30 compressions, 2 breaths until the ambulance not only arrives, but until they physically take over from you.