Heather Hopkins and President Linda 

Don’t drown in shallow water – Know the dangers

Heather Hopkins spoke at the Rotary Club of Cooroy meeting on Monday 13 July on Shallow Water Blackout, a risk associated with breath-holding in water. Even the best swimmers can succumb to Shallow Water Blackout as it can affect the physically fit as well as anyone holding their breath under water.

Linda Morrell, President of the Rotary Club of Cooroy said: -
“Members were surprised that the very common activity of swimming underwater and holding your breath that has been practiced for decades can cause blackout and drowning. We have probably all done this at some time in our lives, and many still do, so it is important to understand and manage the risks.”

When oxygen levels in the blood fall to a critically low level blackout fainting can happen without warning. Hyperventilation and excessive breath-holding reduce the breath trigger and may cause people to believe they can hold their breath for longer than they safely can.

Heather Hopkins said: -
“Shallow Water Blackout can occur without any warning in any body of water when breath-holding, with or without lifeguards present because it a hard to detect from above the water.”

 Shallow Water Blackout Australia seeks to help prevent avoidable drowning deaths from shallow water blackout through awareness and education. To learn more see their web site www.shallowwaterblackout.org. or email swbaustralia@gmail.com