A 17 year old teenage boy found himself on life support after nearly drowning in Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, United States. Initially, the boy was swimming along with two other girls in an area close to the Pontchartrain Beach. It was a late Monday afternoon when the incident occurred. Both the girls screamed for help and a couple of witnesses nearby responded to them.

“I tried to run out. I saw his air bubbles, and he never came back up,” said Tara Pledger, one of the witness. A total of six people rushed to the aid of the girls. However, the 17 year old boy was left underwater for about ten to fifteen minutes before one of the ladies eventually pulled him out of the water. “They put him on a stretcher. When they walked him down, they had him on an IV, so there is hope,” said Pledger.

The issue here is that there were numerous “No Swimming” signs along the shoreline. Furthermore, there wasn’t any lifeguard on duty. However, there were still many people who risk their life and head out on their own. Even the locals living in the area agreed that such individuals are taking a risk when they head out for a swim, especially for those who ventured far out. “I’ve had some friends of mine who’ve drowned out here. It’s smooth right now. You see the surface. It’s smooth. Underneath, you have an undercurrent, and the water can be rugged in some parts of this lake. It creates pockets that can suck you in,” said Mac Whitfield.

Despite the warning signs, many people still ignore them. This shouldn’t be the case as they were placed there for a reason and we shouldn’t by any means take them lightly. This is also one of the main cause of drownings around the world. People tend to ignore the warnings and risk their life for an “adventure” without thinking about the consequences. In this case, the 17 year old boy’s rash decision has caused his family to be in a state of shock and despair. It has also cause a financial burden to his family as the cost for life support doesn’t come cheap. At the end of the day, we have to realise that decisions like this can not only affect us, but our love ones too. Hence, we ultimately have to think about whether it’s worth that risk.

At Happy Fish Swim School, we strongly recommend swimmers to obey the warning signs and try to avoid swimming when there isn’t a life guard around especially in the open waters. They differ greatly from that of the public swimming complex and one simply shouldn’t take the risk. Instead, we would recommend you to arm yourself with Open Water Skills to better prevent any tragedies from occurring.