Is there more than one way you could drown in a boating accident? Yes! Find out the three common types of drowning and the symptoms to watch for.

Three Types of Drowning Caused by Boating Accidents

Three types of drowningOne of the most deadly consequences of a recreational boating accident is when someone drowns. Sadly, many drowning accidents are caused by preventable causes, like intoxication, operator inexperience, speeding, or other negligent driving practices. While many people realize the basic dangers of drowning when in a boat, they may not know that there is more than one way to drown and that each type of drowning can cause catastrophic injuries—like permanent brain damage—or death.

What Are Three Types of Drowning Caused in Boating Accidents?

Many people believe that you can only drown when you are submerged or that the symptoms are immediately apparent. However, this is not always the case. Here are three main types of drowning:

  • Wet drowning. Wet drowning is the most common type of drowning, and the one most people know about. In this type of drowning, the person inhales water that enters the lungs, interferes with respiration, and causes the circulatory system to collapse. The person suffers suffocation due to being immersed in the water. However, a person drowning often is not thrashing around or screaming. His head could be tilted back and his mouth open while he is at near surface level making little or erratic movements.
  • Dry drowning. Dry drowning is caused by a struggle in the water or a near drowning that the person survives. The person can breathe in small amounts of water, which triggers the muscles in the airway to spasm and makes breathing difficult. The symptoms of dry drowning may not emerge until a few hours after the near-drowning experience. If untreated, dry drowning can be fatal.
  • Secondary drowning. Like dry drowning, secondary drowning is caused by a struggle in the water or near-drowning. It is a dangerous condition where there is fluid build-up in the lungs over time that can cause difficulty breathing. It should be treated as a medical emergency because secondary drowning can also cause permanent brain damage or death.

Symptoms of Drowning

The signs of a wet drowning include the person being lethargic or unresponsive. He could be bobbing in the water with his mouth open and his head tilted back, submerged in the water, or floating on the water. If the person is breathing, his respiration may be erratic and shallow. Any attempts at swimming are usually weak. If the person is rescued before death, he can suffer serious respiratory complications or permanent brain damage due to the lack of oxygen to the brain.

The symptoms of both dry and secondary drowning are similar and tend to emerge later after the near drowning. Signs of these dangerous conditions include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Back pain
  • Pneumonia or flu-like symptoms
  • Throat swelling
  • Headaches

Did a loved one drown or suffer one of these types of near drowning in a boating accident? Our experienced legal team is here to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve from the negligent party. Fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free case evaluation.