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What to Do if You Witness a Drowning Accident in Florida


A person holding out a life preserver to someone who is at risk of drowning.

More than 10 Americans drown each day, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tragically, it is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

With so many swimming opportunities in Florida, drowning deaths are tragically common. Even accomplished swimmers can be in danger of drowning in certain water conditions.

Although these accidents disproportionately affect children, drowning accidents can happen to people of all ages. In these instances, medical first responders must be prepared to take action.

While professional medical responders are necessary, ordinary citizens should also know what to do if they witness a drowning accident in Florida. Taking the right steps can mean the difference between life and death when someone is struggling to swim.

Appropriate Steps When Someone Is in Danger

When a person appears to be drowning, it is vital to act as quickly as possible. Doing so can effectively prevent a tragic outcome.

Recognizing the signs of drowning and knowing how to respond can save someone’s life. Some of the critical steps to follow when someone seems to be in danger of drowning are:

Assess the Situation

Before you intervene in a dangerous situation, ensure your own safety. Do not jump into the water if you are not a proficient swimmer.

Trying to help when you are not equipped may put you and the victim at greater risk of injury or death. Putting yourself at needless risk does not make the potential victim safer.
Assess the surroundings and situation. Try to determine which potential hazards or dangers may have caused the person to be in danger in the water. This may include:

  • Unsafe water levels
  • Swelling tides
  • Strong currents
  • Objects beneath the water’s surface
  • Once you understand the circumstances, look around to find professional help. If a lifeguard or emergency services professional is on duty, alert them to the drowning accident.

Know the Signs of Drowning Accidents

Drowning can be a quiet event, despite its typical portrayal in the movies. Those in danger of drowning may be unable to shout for help or wave their arms frantically.

The following signs may signify the victim is drowning:

  • Absence of breath
  • Difficulty breathing regularly
  • Tilted back head with open mouth
  • Closed or glassy eyes
  • Inability to move or swim properly
  • Limp body posture

If any of these physical signs are present, take action. Those exhibiting these symptoms may need immediate medical attention.

Call for Help

It is crucial to shout for assistance from any bystanders. This is especially true if you are not capable of helping yourself.

Yell for help from someone who is a competent swimmer or has water rescue training. If a professional lifeguard is around, tell them about the situation to expedite the rescue process.

Reach or Throw — Do Not Go

Be cautious if you are not a confident swimmer and no one is available to help. It is best to use a reaching or throwing aid. Common examples are:

  • A long pole
  • A nearby buoyant object
  • A strong rope or line

Maintain a safe distance from the person in danger. Make sure to maintain your own balance and stability.

Contact Emergency Services

Even if you are able to retrieve the victim, and they seem to be recovering, contact emergency services. Ensuring medical responders are on the scene will encourage the best possible outcome.

A trained professional can enact cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the person is unresponsive or not breathing. This important technique has saved many people from drowning.

Time is of the essence during a potential drowning accident. For that reason, you should take action as soon as possible.

Speak with a Skilled Drowning Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been involved in a near-drowning accident because of another person’s negligence, do not wait. You may be entitled to recover significant financial compensation through a civil legal claim.

With the help of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer, you can determine the total value of your case. Contact the compassionate legal team at Schrier Law Group to schedule a consultation about your case.

If one of these tragic accidents has resulted in the loss of a loved one, you may be able to file a successful wrongful death claim. Schrier Law Group’s team will fight diligently to help you recover following a water-related accident.

Read Our Reviews

Schrier Law Group is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 22 review(s).


My name is David and I’ve been represented by mr. Schrier law firm twice in my life and I got nothing more then good things to say about them they are very professional and they really Take their clients I really recommend them every time I called them they were always there for me especially the attorney he’s very professional and he got me the money did I deserve by representing me and fighting for me I will use their services again them no questions asked if I ever need them to me they are the best God bless them all

David Cuello


The firm is super professional and handled my husbands vas amazingly. I should refer them to some in need of an attitude.

Isabel Sabrina De Ramirez


The Schrier Law Group are hands down the best and should be your go to for all your legal troubles. They are such professionals; efficient, persistent and don’t take no for an answer. Thank you so much Chatriece, Geissie, Paul & everyone at Schrier Law Group for your patience and making my win possible!

Marika Ford


Shrier Law Group extremely thorough. A really caring Law Firm. My previous lawyer sat on my case for 2 years did nothing with it by chance came across Mr Paul schreier firm and explaining my case he noticed I was not hopeful but he was able to encoirage me and was able to resolve my case within a year I'm so grateful for Mr Paul Schrier and Mrs Chatrice. They go above and beyond. 20⭐

West Jean


I must say that Mr. Schrier was there when we needed immediate advice after my wife got rear-ended by an unlicensed speeding lunatic. We called a handful of attorneys in our area, but after waiting 2- 5 days they would drop her case. We found Mr Schrier online and he explained the pros/cons and he took the case. We waited patiently, and in time he was able to tracked down the actual owners of the car and get their auto insurance info!

Gerard Avalos


The firm pays close attention to locating every possible insurer liable for my injuries. They return my calls in 24-48 hours. Friendly staff who care.

Mr K


Attention to detail with the different insurance coverages. Returned my phone calls, which is very important.

David Kuczenski


I was involved in an auto accident in January 2016. We decided to contact Paul K. Schrier, PLLC for legal advice. He never got annoyed with me calling to ask questions, which was quite often. We have finally reached the final stages of this case, which they handled very well, and have come to a settlement. I highly recommend the Florida personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Paul K. Schrier, PLLC, especially Paul K. Schrier to any one who needs a personal injury attorney. Thank you very much Paul for everything you have done do me.

Martin Tyler


I called to ask some question about a car accident I was in. I spoke to Paul who was very helpful, honest and professional. It seems that he really care about clients. I appreciate all that Paul did and would certainly recommend to anyone who needs an attorney.

Mark Anderson


Best attorney around , I went through a lot of different ones before finding his law firm very professional and they make sure you get paid what you deserve, highly recommend.

Braulio Duran


Thank Paul for everything your personal injury law firm has done for my case as well as my daughter. Thanks for all the hard work and attention. Thanks again!

Maria Jaz


This is one of the best law office in Miami come in and check them out great people

Rowdy Martinez


Best attorney in South Florida

Fefe Alex


Was a wonderful experience getting through a tough process!

Edward Pawley


Both my wife and I feel grateful for the treatment and the professionalism of the staff. Maritza is great doing her job. It is the second time that I request your services and we are pleased and grateful. Many blessings to this Law Firm

Reynier Perez


Awesome wonderful patient Intelligent thoughtful Paul is the best

Theresa Caprice Caprioli


Thank you so much for going above and beyond what I had ever anticipated. It was truly a pleasure to work with you all, especially Chatrice. I will most definitely refer The Schrier Law Group to my family and friends.

Cat Breen


The Schrier LG is an excellent firm! They accepted my case, provided me with all the procedural information, maintained a high level of professionalism while showing kindness and care. The doctor's office that they suggested is another group of kind and considerate individuals, dedicated to my full recovery. I would recommend the Schrier Group to friends, just as they were recommended to me. I am happy with my settlement and very pleased with the attention and diligence of the group as a whole. Thank you again!

Michaela Davis


Mr. Paul Schrier is by far the best attorney for the job! He is very responsive, knowledgeable, and very efficient. Despite my very busy schedule, he kept me informed throughout the process. I am very please with the outcome of my case. The customer service I received from the entire team has been amazing! Thank you all so much!

Ms. Jean


Not only did I get a phenomenal attorney to represent me in my case, but I also got a step by step education on how the legal process actually worked. I was encouraged to ask questions and be an informed client. I was never treated like a case. I truly felt like the advice and recommendations he gave to me would have been the same he would have pursued if he were the client. That was important to me. I needed to work with an attorney I could trust with my best interest in mind...and that is what I got with Paul Schrier.

Juan Rodriquez


Schrier Law Group is the best.

Chatrice Telfort


Great job! I loved working with Paul.