Lifeguard rescue video shows how hard it can be to spot a drowning child

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Reena Ninan reporting (Lifeguard Rescue/YouTube)

In the above photo, a child is drowning. Can you spot him?

A new viral video showing a lifeguard rescue points out just how difficult it can be to identify when a swimmer in distress, and that it takes a sharp eye to keep watch over swimmers in a crowded pool.

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The video, posted by Kevin Rowland, the manager of the Whirlin' Waters Adventure Park in North Charleston, S.C., shows dozens of swimmers in a public wave pool. Within a few moments, a lifeguard dives into the water after having spotted a small boy flailing after his inner-tube capsized.

"I started taking them for training purposes and now people all over the world see them for lifeguard training sessions," Rowland told ABC News of the video. "I never really saw real life situations to compare it to, and kids these days getting trained need something scarier to hold their attention."

Rowland has posted 20 more examples of the near-drownings on his Lifeguard Rescue YouTube page, hoping the videos will help people spot the subtle signs of drowning. Experts say that noticing these signs in time can make the difference between life and death at the pool this summer.

On Good Morning America, Baltimore JCC aquatic director Bill Kirkner said people often look for the wrong signs when trying to identify if someone is drowning.

"When the movies have that person that's making all sorts of motion and everything else, that is not really what it's like," said Kirkner. "If a person can make that noise and everything else, they might be in trouble, but they're still, 'OK.'"

According to ABC News, in 10 percent of drownings, nearby adults had no idea it was happening.

Experts say that when someone is drowning, they often cannot make noise or wave their arms. Instead, adults should look for a head bobbing above and below the surface, tilted back with an open mouth and vertical body.

"They're not able to do anything other than gasping for air," said Dr. Morgen Bernius, an emergency medicine doctor at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, to ABC News.
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