Ex Navy Seal Explains How To Survive If Someone Is Trying To Drown You
They say that drowning is actually a pretty peaceful way to die but anyone that has ever been stuck underwater for longer than they intended to knows that’s complete bullshit; the panic that one feels when being denied access to sweet, sweet air is goddamn terrifying and I can’t imagine it gets any better, the longer it goes on for.
Well, now former Navy Seal Clint Emerson has written a book about 100 vital skills that he learned in the U.S. Navy, and of course, he explains what you should do if somebody tries to drown you.
He covers a variety of scenarios from shallow waters to rough seas and while the best tactic would be to not put yourself in these situations in the first place, his advice is really insightful (and a little terrifying).
The following is an excerpt from Clint’s book 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation:
“When an operative is captured in hostile territory, the odds of survival are low.
“Instead of being taken to trial, he will likely simply be made to “disappear” — which is why operatives practice escaping while wearing undefeatable restraints on hands and feet, both in water and on land.
“Tied up, thrown into open waters, and left to drown to death, the well-trained operative still has recourse to a few skills that can help extend his life until he is found or reaches solid ground.”
“When it comes to self-preservation in water, the key to survival is breath control. With the lungs full of air, the human body is buoyant — so deep breaths and quick exhales are key.
“Buoyancy in freshwater is more challenging but still achievable. Panicking, which can lead to hyperventilation, is the number-one enemy to survival.
“Restraints and body positioning may make breathing a challenge, but repositioning is always within the Nomad’s grasp. In shallow waters, use a sinking and bouncing approach (see diagram below) to travel toward shore, ricocheting off the seabed or lake floor up to the surface for an inhale.
“When facing down, whether floating in place or using a backward kicking motion to swim to shore, the operative should arch his back in order to raise his head above water.”
“In rough seas, this may not give him enough clearance to get his head out of water. Instead, a full body rotation will allow him to take a deep breath and then continue travelling forward.”
The theory is that by continually progressing forward, one will eventually find dry land, or at least somewhere to free oneself from their restraints.
This is obviously intended for worst case scenarios but it’s comforting to know that, if everything goes to shit, just follow Clint’s advice and you’ll be right. Probably.
Check out Clint’s book 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide here. There’s heaps more interesting stuff in there, like…