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Red Cross Materials Help People Stay Safe In, On and Around Water


Circle of Drowning Prevention and Chain of Drowning Survival Boost Water Safety Awareness

WASHINGTON, Thursday, May 23, 2013 — As summer vacation season begins and many Americans take to water-based activities, the American Red Cross is launching easy-to-remember steps to help people stay safe in, on and around water and know what to do to assist someone who is drowning.

The Circle of Drowning Prevention and the Chain of Drowning Survival depict steps that people can take to stay safe in, on and around the water. In the first week of June, the Red Cross will provide posters featuring the Circle of Drowning Prevention and the Chain of Drowning Survival to all aquatic facilities that teach the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program. These infographics will also be distributed to the public free of charge by Red Cross chapters and Red Cross Aquatics partners to help as many Americans as possible.

The materials were developed by nationally-recognized aquatics experts who are members of the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, which guides the Red Cross on emergency and safety treatments and practices that align with the latest evidence-based scientific and medical knowledge.

“The Circle of Drowning Prevention and Chain of Drowning Survival have been created to raise awareness of the most important steps that Americans can take to reduce the number of preventable drownings,” said Peter G. Wernicki, MD, FAAOS, who leads the aquatics expert panel.

A water safety poll released earlier this month by the Red Cross showed that nearly half of Americans say they’ve had an experience where they were afraid they might drown, yet more than half of Americans plan on engaging in behaviors that put them at risk of future drownings when they take to the water this summer.

The Circle of Drowning Prevention shows the layers of protection that can help prevent potential drownings: provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water; fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing; learn swimming and water survival skills; children, inexperienced swimmers, and boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets; and always swim in a lifeguarded area.

The Chain of Drowning Survival illustrates the steps they should take when they spot someone in distress in the water: recognize the signs of someone trouble and shout for help; rescue and remove the person from water without putting yourself in danger; call emergency medical services; begin rescue breathing and CPR, and use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support, if needed.

Downloadable files of the posters and infographics of the Circle of Drowning Prevention and Chain of Drowning Survival can be found at

The Red Cross, a leader in teaching Americans how to enjoy the water safely for nearly 100 years, teaches more than 2 million Americans how to swim each year.

Contact: Public Affairs Desk, Telephone: (202) 303-5551, FOR MEDIA ONLY

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.