Swimmers, don't forget to exercise caution in the pool

Recently, a 21-year old girl lost her life while she was learning swimming at a pool in Ghatkopar on Friday. Reports stated that the girl had swallowed a lot of water during her training. She was rushed to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, but could not be saved.

The girl was learning swimming at a Ghatkopar municipal swimming pool. She swam for a while, but soon started to have difficulty in the water. She started drowning, and though her trainer pulled her out, she had swallowed a lot of water. A senior inspector stated that the girl had suffered a sudden fit in the water from a condition she was being treated for.

We read and hear of so many cases like this one. Sometimes, swimmers may not be aware of the ailment themselves. At other times, they may suffer from a sudden attack while in the pool. Many times, even though the swimmer knows that he suffers from some particular illness, he or she does not bother to inform the pool authorities or trainer before he gets into the pool.

This is highly dangerous and irresponsible behaviour. In the end, it is the swimmer who is as much responsible for his life as the pool authorities. It is best to keep people informed. When in doubt, avoid entering the pool at all. Do take all precautions.

Meanwhile all pools, private or public, need to keep trained lifeguards on hand. Also, basic medical help is a must at the poolside. Very few clubs have recourse to quick medical facilities. We must ensure that at least one ambulance is available and some medical staff, in case of any emergency.

Many learners are misled into thinking that they will be able to swim lengths soon. Sometimes coaches are overburdened with too many children in the pool. At other times, parents are screaming and encouraging their children to dive in at the deep end.

Water can be tremendously deceptive. Even the shallow end can prove dangerous. Remember that not just the pool personnel, but you, too, have the onus of your life in the pool. Be responsible and aware. Caution is
the watchword.

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