SwimSafe neck bands worn to detect drownings - FOX Carolina 21

SwimSafe neck bands worn to detect drownings

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SwimSafe neck band underwater (FOX Carolina/ June 26, 2017) SwimSafe neck band underwater (FOX Carolina/ June 26, 2017)
DUNCAN, SC (FOX Carolina) -

For some young swimmers at the Middle Tyger YMCA in Duncan, taking a dip in the pool is what they love to do.

Megan Murray wants them to have a good time too, but she also wants them to be safe.

"Any extra safety precaution, we always take advantage of," Murray said.

She's the sports and aquatics director with the facility. 

"When I first swam, I was probably four years old," she said.

The swimmers at the YMCA took a swim test Monday, to measure their skill level. Some may need life jackets and floats, but all of them must wear Seal SwimSafe neck bands. 

"Right now they're set on blue setting. So, that means if they're underwater more than 20 seconds it goes into full alarm mode," Murray said.

The light-weight band is used to alert lifeguards if a swimmer is in trouble. 

"We still have our emergency action plan, but this is just reassuring ourselves that we're good to go," Murray said.

FOX Carolina took a camera underwater to demonstrate how it works if the band is around a swimmers neck.

"After 15 seconds of being under water the band starts to alert that swimmer with the blinking light of red and white, which alerts the lifeguard's band and the hub that is sitting beside the lifeguard."

She says when the alert goes off with a beeping sound all swimmers are told to get out of the pool so lifeguards can find the swimmer in trouble. 

"I think it's helpful in reassuring parents that we're not taking drowning lightly," Murray said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people in the country die from unintentional drowning each day- two of them are children 14 or younger. 

"I want to reach as many kids as possible to make sure when they go out there, they're safe," Murray said.

So, while Murray is watching the water, swimmers can just enjoy a cool swim.

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