« ElőzőTovább »
strive to refrain from drawing in your breath whilst under the water, and to keep your head raised as much as you can, and gently, but constantly, move your hands and feet in a proper direction, there may be a great probability of your keeping atloat until soine aid arrives.
The following singular instance of a man's life being saved by very simple instructions given him at the moment of dan. ger, is related by Mr Nicholson, in his Philosophical Journal, * The ship Worcester was moored off Culpee, in the Ganges, in November, 1770. One of the men, who was employed in some occupation forward about the cables, slipped into the water, which I am sure was running seven or eight knots (or miles) an hour, which is very coinmon in that river. On the alarm being given, most of those who were upon deck ran aft, where we saw the man's head rise above the water, at the same time that he held up both his hands, and after a few seconds splashing, sunk again. Soon afterwards he rose a second time; and at that instant the commanding officer, who had a hand trumpet in his hand, called out to him Keep your
hands down in the water.' He did so, and remained a considerable time afloat, while one of the boats which were riding astern, was got alongside and manned ; and this relief was also retarded by a blunder from too much haste, by which she was cast off without oars on board.* His fears must naturally have increased, as his distance from the ship became greater every moment; and I suppose this impression made him forget his newly acquired art; for he renewed his elevation of hands and dashing of the water, and again sunk; but soon rose again, and for a short time obeyed the incessant and unvaried instruction which was vociferated to him through the trumpet. Whenever he deviated [from this advice] he sunk; and he had disappeared in this manner at least five
* When a man falls overboard at sea, the moment that the alarm is given, the ship's helm should be put down, and she should be hove in stays; an object that can float should also be thrown overboard as near the man as possible, and carefully kept sight of, as it will prove a beacon, towards which the boat should pull as soon as lowered down. A grand primary object is having a boat ready to lower down at a moment's notice, which should be hoisted up at the stern most convenient ; the lashings, falls, and tackle, to be ever kept clear, and a rudder, tiller, and spare oar, ever to be kept in her, and when dark she should by no means go without a lanthorn and a compass. There should also be kept in her a rope with a running bowline ready to fis in, or throw to the person in danger, coils of small rope with running bowlines, should also be kept in the chains, quarters, and abaft, ready to throw over, as it most generally occurs that men pass close to the ship's side, and have been often miraculously saved by clinging to ropes.
times; and had been carried almost out of hearing before the boat took him up; which, however, at last happened, with. out any injury to his health, as he took an oar, and assisted in rowing back to the ship. * Method of rendering assistance to a person in danger of
Drowning If you are present, without being able to swim, and can
make him hear you, direct him, as in the case of the seaman of the Worcester, to keep his hands and arms under water until assistance comes: in the mean time, “ Drowning men catch at straws:" be as active as possible in throwing towards him a rope, or a pole, or any thing which may help to bring him ashore; you need not doubt, therefore, that he will eagerly seize whatever you place within his reach to assist him: thus you may succeed, perhaps, in drawing him to shore, and rescue him from his perilous situation. Indeed this desirable object appears attainable by the proper use of a man's hat and pocket handkerchief, which, being all the apparatus necessary, is to be used thus: Spread the handker, chief on the ground, and place a hat, with the brim downwards, on the middle of the handkerchief; and then tie the handkerchief round the hat as you would tie up a bundle, keeping the knots as near the centre of the crown as may be. Now, by seizing the knots in one hand, and keeping the opening of the hat upwards, a person, without knowing how to swim, may, fearlessly, plunge into the water with what. may be necessary to save the life of a fellow-creature..
The best manner in which an expert swimmer.can lay hold of a person he wishes to save from sinking, is to grasp firmly. his arm between the shoulder and the elbow:: this will prevent him from clasping you in his arms, and thus forcing you under water, and perhaps causing you to sink with him.
"See Bosworth's. Accidents of Human Life'
If a person should fall out of a boat, or the boat upset by going foul of a cable, &c. or should he fall off the quays, or indeed tall into any water from which he could not extricate himself, but must wait some little time for assistance, bad he presence of mind enough to whip off his hat, and hold it by the brim, placing his fingers within-side the crown, and hold it.so, (top downwards) he would be able, by this method, to keep his mouth well. above water till assistance should reach him. It often happens that danger is descried long before we are involved in the peril, and time enough to prepare this or the above method ; and a courageous person would, in seven instances out of ten, apply to them with success; and travellers, in fording rivers at unknown fords, or where shallows are deceitful, might make use of. these methods with advantage..
THEN in the stream, by accident, is found
A pallid body of the recent drown'd,
Is it a child, yet weak in strength and age,
If woman, man, or youth, attendance claims,
Do winter's cold or damps extend their gloom,
And when with tepid cloths it well is dried,
Bottles, or bladders, filld with water hot, And heated tiles, or bricks, should next be got:
These wrap in flannel, with precaution meet,
Let one the mouth, and either nostril, close,
but should not these succeed, with all your care,
Th' enlivening fumes with watchful patience pour
Mere agitation oft assistance gives,
Shouldst thou these means a tedious hour pursue,
Sometimes, though life is cold in ev'ry vein,
Let fly the sudden shock; if life remain,
When these or other pleasing signs appear,
Now see your patient snatch'd from instant deatlı,
Soon, soon again from slumber shall he wake:
But, ah! a fatal error oft has been,
FROM the low
of want and plaint of woes
And friends, and native land: nor those alone;