Time Required For a Drowning Victim to Reach Bottom

John L. Hunsucker PhD, PE

Scott J. Davison MBA, ME, NREMT-P, LP

PO Box 458, Dickinson, TX 77539 United States of America

Email: sjdavison@att.net



This paper describes a mathematical model that can be used to provide an estimate for the amount of time a drowning victim takes to sink through the water and hit bottom, including a table for drift during the descent. A victim may be on the surface and then be on the bottom less than 10 seconds later. Search and rescue professionals need to be trained to understand the short time during which a victim can sink and drown and the need for immediate search and rescue from the bottom starting at the last point the victim was seen.

KEY WORDS: Rescue, Drowning, Lifeguarding, Body Retrieval

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