How to avoid drowning

It has been observed before that men are drowned by raising their arms above water, the unbuoyed weight of which depresses the head; all other animals have neither motion nor ability to act in a similar manner, and therefore swim naturally. When a man therefore falls into deep water, he will rise to the surface and continue there if he does not elevate his hands. If he move his hands under the water in any manner he pleases his head will rise so high as to allow him liberty to breathe, and if he move his legs as in the act of walking (or rather of walking upstairs), his shoulders will rise above the water, so that he may use less exertion with his hands, or apply them to other purposes. These plain directions are recommended to the attention of those who have not learned to swim in their youth, and they will, if attended to, be found highly advantageous in preserving life.

If a person falls into the water or gets out of his depth and cannot swim, and if he wishes to drown himself, let him kick and splash as violently as possible, and he will soon sink. On the contrary, if impressed with the idea that he is lighter than the water, he avoids all violent action and calmly but steadily strives to refrain from drawing his breath while under the water, and keeps his head raised as much as possible, and gently but constantly moves his hands and feet in a proper direction, there will be a great probability of his keeping afloat until some aid arrives.

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