Could you save a swimmer in trouble?

HOW can a super fit 21-year-old drown in the river?

That is the question everyone must be asking today after the disappearance of Benjamin Reddich on Sunday afternoon in the Brisbane River.

Ben was just a few metres from safety when he seemingly sank exhausted under the fast flowing water.

I considered yesterday just what I could have done if I was there on the river bank and saw him go under.

I doubt if I could have done anything more than what his friends did.

I can only imagine the terror and panic they would have embraced as they swam down into the murky water looking for him, hoping to drag him back to the surface.

I learnt to swim when I was just seven years of age, but I have often wondered just how far I could swim if my life depended on it.

I was a member of a small surf lifesaving club on the NSW North Coast and on a number of occasions had to rescue swimmers who had struck trouble.

Back then I was fit, ready and trained to undertake the rescue and as a backup I had a floatation tube strapped to my body.

The weekend incident serves as a reminder for us all to keep up our swimming and to make sure if we are taking our children for a swim we know if needed we can pull them to safety.



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