On Tuesday evening at approximately 7 p.m., tragedy struck when three family members disappeared into the waters of McKinney Falls Park as a father played with his 3 year-old son and 10 year-old daughter. Austin-Travis County EMS, Austin Police and Austin Fire responded multiple resources to the scene. The first unit arrived five minutes later.
After a quick search, police and firefighters pulled the three victims from the water. All three victims were in cardiac arrest. CPR was initiated as additional resources arrived at the scene.
After many minutes of resuscitative efforts, the two children, ages three and ten, were quickly loaded into the STAR Flight helicopter and were transported to Dell Children’s Hospital. Unfortunately the adult male did not respond to CPR and paramedics pronounced him deceased.
Summer Open Water Safety Tips
Austin and the Central Texas Region is blessed with long summers and wide variety of outdoor activities to choose from. Austin-Travis County EMS encourages everyone to take advantage of all the fun and activities Central Texas has to offer, just follow some simple tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.
Water Safety and Drowning Prevention
Lakes and rivers present a multitude of potential hazards that aren’t associated with swimming pools. Uneven, slippery rocks and surfaces can create falls hazards and underwater rock shelves can drop off to unexpected depths. Underwater currents can be strong so wear a life vest when you are in a boat or swimming in lakes and rivers.
Water Safety Tips:
1. Never swim alone in open bodies of water. Use the” buddy system”. Be aware of uneven bottom surfaces, obstacles, and drop-offs.
2. Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water – including swimming pools. That means for infants and toddlers an adult must be within an arm’s reach at all times. Avoid distractions like talking on the phone, chatting with other adults, or reading at all costs. Assign an adult “water watcher” to monitor children at all times while they are in the pool.
3. Teach your children to swim. Swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. Teach children never go near water without an adult present. If you do not how to swim either, enroll in a parent-child learn-to-swim class. The City of Austin Aquatics Center offers swim lessons to adults, teens and children of all ages. Visit the Aquatics Center webpage to find a swim lesson facility near you: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/pools-and-swimming
4. Don’t rely on swimming aids. Water wings and pool noodles are fun toys but they are not a substitute for a life vest. Make sure the life vest is the correct size and type for the person wearing it and is a US Coast Guard safety approved personal floatation device.
5. Learn CPR. CPR is not exclusive to sudden cardiac arrest events, it can be applied when someone’s heart stops beating for any reason (drowning, heat exhaustion, medical reasons...). Austin-Travis County EMS Community Education teaches FREE Hands Only CPR classes year round, call EMS Community Education at 512.978.0131 to arrange for a TAKE10 CPR class or sign up for a CPR certification class. CPR is a lifesaving skill and a tremendous peace of mind, and can be the difference between life and death.