What would you do?

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It was in the news recently that two Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) stood by a pond while a boy was drowning, and wouldn't go in because it contraviened health & safety rules. Obviously this sparked outrage with the press and with the parents of the boy concerned etc (the boy didn't survive by the way). Now, I can kind of see why they didn't go in to the water, especially given that they hadn't been trained in water rescue etc, but if it was me, or many others I'm sure, the Health & Safety rules would go out of the window. It's a very difficult situation to be in, and one that is hard to judge without it happening to you personally. I don't blame them for not going in to the water, afterall, not everyone can swim, or at least not confidently enough to drag a person out with themselves to boot. There are other factors to consider aswell, the main one in this situation being that the officers couldn't actually see the boy! What are your opinions on these sorts of situations? And are Health & Safety rules the same everywhere nowadays?

Click (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7007081.stm) for most recent news story.

posted by  Cliffy

It depends on the situation...If the boy is being pulled down by an under-current (or something like that), then even the best of swimmers might not be able to swim out, but in an ordinary pond, I can't see why they wouldn't go in...I don't understand; if the officers couldn't see the boy, how did they know he was drowning?

posted by  chris_knows

I think they were either responding to the call, or they saw other people panicking etc.

posted by  Cliffy

Can't be in law enforcement here, if you can't swim. Basic water safety and life saving just part of the requirements.

It's looks like a crowd of people stood around and watched this kid die.

Me, I would have gotten wet.

posted by  jcutsh

damn straight

posted by  windsonian

That used to be the case here, too, but being able to swim as a requirement was dropped.

posted by  Cliffy

Well if you read the article, it does look like the officers couldn't really do anything. I'm sure if the boy was visible, and it wasn't level 5 river rapids, anyone would have jumped in and saved the kid, protocol or not.

posted by  Mathew

I agree. My view is that it much depends on the situation. The boy could actually swim and was attempting to rescue his step-sister I believe, the problem is it's alot more difficult than a boy of that age could probably ever imagine, to pull twice your own body weight to the surface, and then to safety. I'm not a great swimmer, and only learned myself when I was 10-yrs old (which I see as quite old to learn). I certainly would have jumping in a pond like this one, regardless of the outcome for myself, but I'd definitely think twice about jumping in the Thames of off a pier and into the sea!

posted by  Cliffy

I agree, but wouldn't it be better to jump in? Not necessarily because it's my job, but if I'm standing around while a boy is drowning, the guilt would probably follow me for the rest of my life.

posted by  chris_knows

I find it's often better to act and think about it afterwards, lol. I've never saved a life before, but the theory is the same for other actions when you have to get stuck in (pissheads fighting etc, lol). I find if you think about what might happen, or what might result, you end up talking yourself out of doing something. It's far better to get stuck straight in and not think too hard about it!

posted by  Cliffy

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