Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning


Below is a forwarded email that I received from a friend. After reading it and remembering a time at the Wave Pool in Nashville, TN that I couldn’t get my head above water due to all the floats, and feeling like I was going to drown, I wanted to pass this along. I think everyone should read it because it might just save a life.


How many times have we heard on the news about a victim that was swimming with friends and suddenly disappeared?  This explains why.

by Mario on May 3, 2010

in Boating Safety,Water Safety

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006 (page 14))

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.


Osama bin Laden Dead


Wow, What an amazing day!

The U.S. and its allies are rejoicing after the news that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, was killed in a special operation deep in Pakistan.

My feelings on the subject are that we are very fortunate to have been able to finally get this man who was responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths of Americans in the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11. At the same time, I am not joining in with those who are displaying excessive anger and hatred toward the man or even the organization.

This is a time that the country needs to come together, but if we hold hate in our hearts, we will only further destroy the fabric of our nation by being unwilling to forgive our enemies as we’ve been instructed in God’s Word.

May we join together with our brothers and sisters across the country in thanking God for this victory, but also in asking Him to continue to heal our hearts and protect our nation from the attacks that would come against the ideals and principles of Christ that it was founded upon.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Get the Most From Your Gasoline


I got this email from my friend Treny Biller. It’s just a normal forwarded email, but it made some sense, so I decided to post it here. Apparently, this has been going around for quite some time, and it was combined with the “Don’t Buy Gas For A Day” email in 2008. According to Snopes.com the claims in this email can’t be completely proved as true or false, so make your own decision on what works and doesn’t. Either way, if it’s not costing me money or too much time, why not try a couple of these tips to see if you can get the most out of your gasoline.

This email could save you a buck at the gas pump!!
Read it carefully ~

I don’t know what you guys are paying for

but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My
line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money’s worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in
San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period
thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and
gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here
with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early
morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all
service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The
colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer
gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the
evening….your gallon is not exactly a gallon.
In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature
of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum
products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for
this business. But the service stations do not have temperature
compensation at the pumps.

When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping.

All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom. To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It’s really simple to do.

I’m sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)…and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers !!!!!!! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!

If It goes one level further, you guessed it….. THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!! Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people.

How long would it take?

I don’t send forwards because I typically think they’re spammy and offer little to no value, but in this case, every penny can come in handy. If any of these tips actually help, post them in the comments.

Embrace the Underdog


Embrace the underdog in you. A steady, confident, improving individual will seem to come out of nowhere after years of training, but they have staying power. The highly gifted can draw big bucks with little training, but if the consistency and character isn’t there, they fall quickly.

If you are not the best in your field, keep improving and keep in mind that each practice, each new lesson you learn through failure, each time you say to yourself, “I’m going to figure this out”, puts you in a place of victory and prepares you for the long haul. Performers will talk down to themselves and refuse to learn the hard way because the expectations on their gift have defined them, not their persistence in learning a craft.

If you see a performer, tell him he’s a great person and you’ve suddenly become his hero.

Defeat, Defiance or Faith


Disclaimer: This is a top-of-mind post. It’s not completely thought through, but I wanted to get it down on paper before I lost it.

Here’s my contention – that we speak and act from one of three places: Defeat, Defiance, or Faith.

Do these three cover everything?

Probably not, but I’m going to try and make them 🙂 The other places I imagine we could categorize as the origin of our motives are fear and possibly bewilderment. But for the sake of a three-pronged title, I’m going to lump fear into defeat and bewilderment into defiance.


The emotional and spiritual state of defeat comes with the realization that one is trapped and there is no hope for a better future. This usually looks like the man or woman stuck in a crummy job or relationship, and because of fear, has resigned himself or herself to the idea that life has peaked and it’s just time to “accept things the way they are”.

The ‘Defeateds’ have a different tone in their voice. It’s a sadness mixed with bitterness mixed with an edge that comes from someone who has chosen to accept their circumstances.

The symptoms look like a constant sarcasm, a refusal to believe that anyone is truly happy, and a distrust of those who appear to have hope in their lives. These are often the people who are depressed and use various methods to escape from reality, only to find that the escape route has further entrapped them.

The way out for the Defeateds is different for each person, but it will include sacrifice of some sort. The Defeateds feel entitled to partake of the world’s pleasures, because after all, you might as well take advantage of what makes you feel good if this is all there is. This is the ultimate form of selfishness and can only be combated by acts of conscious sacrifice.


The Defiance stance is a mixture of denial, a leaning toward hope, and a lack of emotional and spiritual confidence in their ability. They believe that they are largely alone in the world, feel misunderstood and are willing to strive for something better but don’t find themselves reaching that point.

Defiance people may use humor to lift themselves up, but it’s a humor that rests in carnality. They have an appearance of doing well, but a little probing reveals great distress. They fit well with a crowd, have good friends, speak with an upbeat tone, but don’t experience victory over their own shortcomings.

The path out of a Defiance mode looks like surrender. They have created walls of ‘protection’ around their heart and don’t really let people inside due to the pain they experience regularly, so the path to Truth and Freedom requires forgiveness and a willingness to trust again. Healing life’s wounds may take time, but it’s possible. The only trouble is that Defiance people probably don’t realize they are deceiving themselves to survive each and every day. Only the sick need a doctor.


These people have been through Hell and back. ‘Faiths’ speak with a smile that comes from a place of deep satisfaction with life. Their circumstances have little affect on their attitude and they tend to listen more than they talk. However, when they do speak, they speak with wisdom and compassion.

Faiths are prone to looking out of place in a ‘normal’ society, but they are also leaders in their own right. Many will quietly give gifts, encourage others and find joy in the little things in life.

Their history has involved being a Defeated and a Defiance, but they have made it through and now live in a place of confident rest that God is in control. Their scars are filled with stories and their eyes understand your pain. These people will laugh a lot and cry a lot.

The Faiths’ concerns are for others, but not in a controlling way. Faiths enjoy watching others go through the process of Defeated to Defiance to Faith and understand that it’s the journey that makes being a Faith valuable. They realize that true joy comes from fellowship with everyone, regardless of their individual state and that life is about unconditional love, not ability, appearance or performance.

What Are You?

Where do you fall on the scale of Defeat, Defiance or Faith? Are you happy where you are? How do you see yourself getting from one state to the next?

Staying Above the Conversation


Staying Above The Conversation

Our world, if we pay attention to the media, is full of conversation. Sometimes this conversation can be toxic in tone and content. While it is tempting to point fingers and blame others, the greatest service we can provide the world around us is not to engage in this conversation and simply focus our attention on loving well. In doing this, we humbly submit our grievances to the only one who can truly affect change. Philipians 4:8 instructs us:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

The Lord expressed to me several months back, to “stay above the conversation”. After questioning Him about this instruction, the Lord made it clear to me that my value comes not from my ability to win an argument or convince a skeptic, but rather from my status as a son of God. My protection comes from abiding in Him daily, knowing anyone who attempts to pick a fight will be picking a fight first with the creator of the universe.

If we quietly go about our business, ignore the rhetoric, maintain emotional composure and preserve our ability to love well, we display a kind of leadership that the world thirsts for–a leadership that points to Christ.

Trust of Authority


We are taught not to trust authority, especially politicians. Many people have nothing but hatred to speak of those on Capital Hill, while others despise the cops or the crooked judge or hypocritical pastor.

Many of these people shouldn’t be trusted because they haven’t earned it, but we tend to apply it across the board, instead of only where it is deserved.

Media only perpetuates this trend and then we end up where we are now as a nation of lonely, independent angry people with very little to call family. At the end of the day, however, family and God is the only thing we can rely on.

What will it take to bring us back to a place of trusting authority? Brokenness (the state of surrendering to a higher power) comes at the expense of great trial, but it brings people together. The step just before brokenness is humility. Before we are forced to suffer brokenness, let’s pursue humility, which begins with offering a little trust to those in authority. If they mess up, who knows, maybe we will have to learn to forgive.

No More Booing


Have you ever been a player on the field and seen a teammate or even a player on the other team fall down? As a player, there’s a mutual respect. Unless the player needs medical attention, you walk over, offer a hand, and pull the other player up.

Nashville, the Titans may not be the team we were hoping they would be this year. I get that. It’s tough to get so excited for a great team that we all love and then get disappointed by a seemingly lackluster effort and sloppy penalties.

But as Titans fans, we’ve got an opportunity to get behind our players and encourage them to play to their highest level. If we go into the stadium and boo a team that represents some of the best of Nashville, we’re only serving to take the city down a notch.  We’re better than this.

What if we had gotten out there, seen the debacle on the field and started chanting, “Let’s go Titans! Let’s go Titans!”?  As Nashvillians, we essentially told anyone watching the game that we are just as petty and self-centered as we claim Vince Young is. COME ON, NASHVILLE!! NO MORE BOOING!!!

The next home game is against the Jaguars on December 5. This is going to be another high-pressure game.  Let’s be as respectful of our team (and our opponents) as we can. If the team gets down, doesn’t perform perfectly, or falls behind, don’t kick them–be the 12th player that goes over to his teammate, holds out a hand, and lifts him back up.

Google Politics


An article that Matt Cutts of Google recently posted, asked for BIG IDEAS from people. “Pretend you are CEO of Google for a day,” says Cutts. He wants to know what we would do to improve society, Google or the Internet.  Below is my comment. Let me know what you think.

Google Politics

As CEO, I would create a non-profit, unbiased arm that functioned as the new way get political information, nominate candidates and elect them electronically.

Pieces of the puzzle:

– List a set of problems on politics.google.com (not being used currently)
– Party nominees submit solutions (we’ll assume we have nominees for simplicity)
– Solutions are crawled and distributed on a graph based on similarity by degree. (solution X is .8% off from solution Y).
– Radical and/or non-viable solutions are tossed
– Solutions get assessed for economic and political viability
– Topics are weighted for impact and immediacy
– People vote on the solutions during a pre-Primary period
– Nominees with the most highly voted ideas go into a candidate pool.
– Secure, Online Voting commences
– Candidates are elected from 2-3 parties and the process moves forward…

Something along these lines would reduce the waste, corruption and stupidity that occurs in the America electoral process. We deserve a system that doesn’t depend on how much money you can raise and how many special interests you can sleep with. Real, common sense ideas and a political system that actually carries them out would be a BIG IDEA from this Google CEO.

Being Ignored


It’s quite possibly the worst punishment humans can undergo. When inmates are punished for unruly behavior, they are isolated in solitary confinement. This is meant to be the one way to protect other inmates as well as create an intense emotional situation for the unruly inmate. Without interaction with other people, inmates are likely to deal with greater levels of depression and anxiety as their thoughts and ideas of life have no one to confirm or deny their validity.

When a husband and wife get in a fight, the ending result is often silence for a period of time. This lack of communication can lead to a greater level of stress on the relationship than a verbally expressive disagreement.

At work, employees who are ignored or do not find their emails validated by a response get irritated and end up taking out their frustrations with others, creating drama among other workers.

God says he’s never going to leave us or forsake us. It’s difficult to feel ignored or to be left out of the loop, God will always be close by to provide comfort and an ear to hear our thoughts.