Rescue and Revive

Bystanders have an important role in preventing drownings, although many drownings also occur when the bystander goes in to rescue and ends up in trouble themselves. The 4Rs (Recognise, Respond, Rescue and Revive) is an easy way for bystanders to recall the process for responding to a drowning situation.

Older, or more advanced students can learn how to rescue someone and keep themselves safe whilst doing so.

The third R is Rescue

  • Look around for something that could be used to rescue someone using a reach or throw rescue. A paddle, branch, angel ring towels or clothing (which could be tied together) or rope could be used.
  • It is generally not suitable for children to pull others out of pools. This required additional instruction.

The fourth R is Revive

  • Place person in the recovery position.
  • Reassure the rescued person.
  • Keep the rescued person warm.
  • Provide basic first aid care.

Practice a bystander rescue using the 4Rs.

  • Working in pairs/threes. One person in the water role playing a drowning person.
  • Others on poolside, take turn practicing:
    1. Recognising they’re in trouble, point and say “Are you okay?”
    2. Call and go for help
    3. Providing flotation
    4. Reach rescue
    5. Throw rescue with a rope
    6. Secure the person by holding their two hands on the side of the pool (t is not suitable to pull others out of the water without specific instruction).

Rescue a drowning person
throw a rope
Pull person in while they float on their back

Teaching Tips and Class Management

  • Be aware ropes rescues will be limited to availability.
  • Keep centre of gravity low when rescuing using a reach or throw technique.

Here’s a short video clip to show how this is done in real life…

Water Skills For Life Advanced:

Able to perform a reach RESCUE and a throw rescue with a buddy. Know the recovery position to help begin the REVIVE stage.