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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


Even the best swimmers are not drown-proof, and Shallow Water Blackout can be the cause.  I’ve had some inquiries about Shallow Water Blackout recently which led me to develop a list of resources.  I thought I’d share them here, starting with a description of the issue from 

http://shallowwaterblackoutprevention.org and http://shallowwaterblackout.org.uk then a list of the other top resources.  Please let me know if you have more resources to add to the list - the more information the better!

A Shallow Water Blackout is brought on when:

the body has been working extremely hard - exercising lowers the oxygen level in the body;

by taking deep breaths in preparation to swim under water, the body expels carbon dioxide from the lungs;

the body’s desire to breathe is brought on by a build up of carbon dioxide in the lungs - we breathe carbon dioxide out to breathe oxygen in;

the lungs have reduced levels of carbon dioxide, and this fools the brain into thinking that there is not yet the need to breathe;

the brain is low on oxygen from the initial hard exercise and this brings on a faint.

On land, this faint would send oxygen racing to the brain and ‘bring round’ the patient.  However, in a swimming pool the swimmer inhales water, and without immediate aid will subsequently drown.

Who can be affected: It can affect anyone that is breath-holding, even the physically fit swimmer. It is especially seen in competitive swimmers, Navy SEALs, snorkelers, spear fishermen or anyone who free-dives. SWB cuts across the spectrum of freediver training affecting all levels.  No one is protected from succumbing to SWB.

When it can happen: Frequently, Shallow Water Blackout occurs without any warning of its onset. In fact, because of the hypoxia and detached mental state one can feel euphoric and empowered to continue breath-holding. Unlike regular drowning where there can be 6-8 minutes before brain damage and death, there is only about 2 ½ minutes before brain damage and death occur because the brain has already been oxygen deprived coupled with warm water as in swimming pools, hastening brain death.

Where it can happen: Shallow Water Blackout can occur in any pool, lake, ocean or body of water when breath-holding, regardless of water depth. Even if lifeguards are on duty there is still a great risk because it is hard to detect from above the water.

Knowledge is power - help spread this knowledge please.


National Swimming Pool Foundation.

The ILSF policy statement.


Signage from Clarion Safety.

Aquatic Safety Research Group videos.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Views: 66

Tags: Rebecca, Robinson, Wear, blackout, drowning, prevention, safety, shallow, water


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