Life is full of ups and downs, and humans are not very good at handling the downs of it: one becomes prone to misery and hopelessness, at times giving up too easily. All philosophical discourse aside, however, giving up might not really bode well on you when you are faced with life-threatening situations, say, for example, when you’re stuck in quicksand (in which case, please don’t try to waddle through it or wriggle out: you’re only going to be pulled down even further). It becomes essential, therefore, that we know at least some, if not all of the things that will allow us a passing shot at life.
Before reading the following life-saving facts, remember the one mantra that applies to all of the following situations and more, without exception: DON’T PANIC.
1. If you get stuck in a riptide, remain calm and swim parallel to the shore; if you swim towards the shore, you will tire faster.
Before we get any further, let’s understand what riptides are. Firstly, they are not so much tides as currents; secondly, these currents move from the shore to the sea with startling rapidity and are powerful enough to drag an unsuspecting person with them. Statistics indicate that 80% of all open-water rescue attempts are because of riptides, which claim over 100 lives every year.
Most are quick to assume that deaths caused by riptides are a result of the current pulling the person under; however, it is more likely that the person begins swimming against the rip in panicky desperation, becomes tired, and drowns. It shows more sense on your side, therefore, were you to swim parallel to the shore, perpendicular to the rip. Once you traverse the rip, swim towards the shore at an angle.(source)
2. If and when you might be crying for help, call out to specific people: something like – “You in the green shirt!”. This will prompt people to act and not be affected by the bystander effect.
3. When you find that your survival is threatened, remember the rule of the threes (although this may change from person to person depending on one’s body):
You can survive:
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
4. Most phones can dial 911 even when there is no service or SIM card.
Also, 112 is the international 911 in most places.
5. If you see a photo (particularly that of a child), and the person has a red-eye from the flash in only one eye, this could be a sign of retinoblastoma – a type of eye cancer.
Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumour on the retina, caused primarily due to excessive growth of retinoblasts (the cells that constitute the retina). These tumours can spread to other parts of the eye as well as other organs. Often, those diagnosed are children below the age of 5, with over 300 children diagnosed in any given year.(source)