How to perform a water rescue

If a person in distress is within arm’s reach, lie down and, if possible, hold onto a support with one arm or have someone hold your legs. Grab the victim’s arm, leg, or hair and pull him to safety. If he is just beyond reach, extend a pole, an oar, a water ski, or a piece of clothing.

Shallow water

Wade in, extending a pole or a towel to the victim. Don’t lean toward him; incline your body toward the shore or dock so that you won’t be pulled off balance. If there are several of you. form a human chain, as shown.

Stand on the end of the rope while throwing a ring buoy beyond the victim. Pull the buoy slowly toward him.

If there’s no buoy, throw a floating object: a life jacket, an inner tube, a log.

If you can’t throw far enough, row or motor to the victim. Extend an oar or a cushion; pull him slowly alongside. Maneuver him toward the stern; lift him into the boat.