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- I am a practiced free diver and if I keep calm and relax I can do about 90 seconds but that’s if I’m staying relaxed if I panick it goes down to about 60 seconds. As for somome who has not had training I would say about 30 seconds in a panick before they pass out. There are also many instances of people surviving much longer than my dives for instance the world record underwater breath hold was 22 minutes by a professional. Please don’t murder anyone and don’t use this information for any bad also it is a rough estimate so dont bet your life on it.
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Thank you all so much for all the!! I am really amazed to see this answer take off like this. If you enjoy this answer or found it useful please hit that upvote for me!
When I was 7 years old my School took my entire class to a water park (I know, not a good idea!) Many of my classmates me included had not learned to swim yet, but those of us who could swim was making fun of the rest of us for using arm floats. Me being a brave young man took the arm floats off, and proceeded to jump in the deep end of the pool.
Now, try to hold your breath for as long as you possibly can, do you feel the pain in your chest? or the pressure in your forehead? Do you feel the urge to take a breath? Imagen that it is impossible. The pain starts to grow and takes over until you can’t fight it longer, then you will take a big gulp of water down in your lungs, and it will feel like small razors cutting you up from the inside.
I ended up passing out under water, someone saw me and managed to pull me up and start CPR, I was Lucky, some Seconds later and I would have been dead.
People try to tell me I was lucky because I was so young, but I remember clearly my final thought, and that was, ” Now I am going to die” And I promise that at the age of 7 this is a horrible realisation.
You are asking the question about how long it will take to drown, that depends from person to person, but remember time is relative, I was conscious for about 2 minutes, but it felt like 30 minutes at least!
So the short answer is yes, it hurts allot, I would never ever wish upon my worst enemy the faith of drowning.
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It takes a minute or less. For them to die it takes just a few minutes longer. Once a person starts to inhale water, the body has an auto-response reaction to close the air passages. Drowning is getting water in your lungs, once that happens, then everything starts to shut down. Your body will struggle for air but it won’t be able to get any because the airway is blocked. Usually you are still above water at this point, flailing around. In a very short time you will submerge, and within minutes you will die unless a rescue is made and efforts to resuscitate you begin.
Minutes is all it takes. Just the few minutes a parent takes their eyes off a child drownin…
60 seconds for an adult. 20 seconds or less for a kid. You’ll be ‘alive’ and unconscious for a few minutes after that, but you certainly won’t be able to help yourself get air during those minutes. Water is terrifying, and you fail to respect it at your peril.
You want to know how dangerous water is? It is the leading cause of unintentional death among toddlers in the US, and the main culprit is having a pool at home. It’s so bad the government of Israel is putting out free information campaigns on how to protect young children from water.
Everyone should learn to swim. Everyone should be taught to respect water. And if you have kids, you need to make VERY certain your child is not left alone near it.
I have experienced that and it is true but I am not sure if it is the same for everybody, here is how it went:
I didn’t know how to swim back then, I jumped in the deep side of the swimming pool thinking it is the 1 meter one, by the time water reached my neck realized that I jumped in the wrong side and I didn’t have time to breathe in or hold my breath….
I inhaled water and water went into my eyes, I was panicking and struggling to breath and even open my eyes , I was being tea bagged in water…. THEN this happened: I started seeing faces in front of me, soooooooo many faces of people I know like 50 or more in a second or 2. It was like a fast slide show, then suddenly I felt no pain, my body ignored it and I thought to myself: I am gonna die… it is ok the feeling was calm and serene, it felt as good as going to bed and falling asleep when you are extremely tired.
I accepted the fact that I will die and stopped moving and it felt so good…. Then I was saved by a life guard.
It was such an experience
Have you ever googled yourself? Do a “deep search” instead.
This search engine reveals so much more. Type in your name, wait 8 seconds, brace yourself.
Breath holding will generally cause carbon dioxide levels to rise. This is very uncomfortable. Discomfort increases when the urge to breath forces you to inhale water (worse if it is salt water). Euphoria only sets in moments before unconsciousness and death. Some freedivers extensively hyperventilate before going under. This removes a lot of CO2 from the blood. This can cause you to go direct to blackout from hypoxia (depleted oxygen in the blood) without the bad feelings and urge to breath from CO2 buildup in the blood.
Lifeguards are most sensitive to those floating immobile face down. Avoid this behavior to avoid drawing lifeguard attention to the point of whistle or rescue. Don’t float face-down, don’t show distress or panic, and keep something moving even just a little bit (ie don’t appear unconscious). While you can minimize alerting the lifeguard to the point of rescuing you or whistling to you, High-risk swimming activity or behaviors will still and fully legitimately make the lifeguard give you extra observation and vigilance and whistle you for you to stop such behaviors if it is causing him anxiety or monopolizing his attention that otherwise would be used in looking after the other swimmers.
Hyperventilation blackout (often called shallow water blackout when not involving trained freedivers) is becoming a bigger and bigger problem and cause of death with teens and young adults and lifeguards are increasingly trained to be alert for and ban extended underwater breath holds with or without swimming. People who are not veteran freedivers are usually pulled out of the water with lungs full of water after a shallow water / hyperventilation blackout if they are saved by a lifeguard and not their calm and reasonably trained friend/buddy. There is a very high chance of having brain damage if survive a hyperventilation / shallow water blackout (as compared to a conventional panic near-drowning) as the cause of blackout is already lack of oxygen. So if you intend to push the limits of breath-holding endurance and hyperventilating in order to do so and have no suicide intent, have a friend / buddy with you that you can rely on to promptly rescue you if you blackout because a lifeguard or a bystander will probably rescue you too late to avoid brain damage or death. If suicide is your intent, be sure you’re not around any people as a failed attempt (getting rescued) means very probable brain damage.
If you want euphoric ‘drowning’, try inert gas asphyxiation – breathing pure nitrogen or pure helium. Make sure the exhaled breath / CO2 goes elsewhere while only the nitrogen or helium is inhaled. Hyperventilation blackout head-down in water is #2.
If you want more agony in drowning, and prolonged agony, look up waterboarding torture. You can experiment with it youself to some degree by wearing a COVID-19 mask in the pool.
If you crave the near death experience but don’t want to actually dance with death or suicide, look up the hallucinogenic drug DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). Your brain makes this stuff naturally when it is near-death hypoxic. When you smoke enough for a hyperspace trip you are pumping more than one thousands times into your brain than your brain produces naturally when in a hypoxic state.
Please don’t actually attempt suicide or experiment with the brink of death.
The answer you seek is two fold. In short yes and no. When a person begins to drown they are struggling to breach the surface of water holding their breath and fighting off and experiencing extreme apnea , that intense feeling that you need to breath. That is the painful and stressful portion of drowning. Eventually apnea wins and the reaction to breath becomes involuntary. Initially the water burns and you cough but soon the lungs fill with water and you can breath the water in and out as if it were air, however your lungs are not gills and you are unable to oxygenate your blood. Despite knowing this you will have no physical pain as you did before with apnea. You will simply breath water in and out comfortably untill you lose conciousness. That is why you hear it is peaceful. A fight, an end of pain, a few final thoughts, and then lights out. So in effect yes drowning itself is fairly peaceful, but your natural instinct to fight the urge to breathe beforehand is painful.
I am a professional diver and have logged many hours of life underwater on scuba. I have survived many equipment failures that my life had depended solely on a redundant system not to fail. Luckily I have always emerged unharmed. However these failures always remind me of a choice I have if I find myself past the point of no return. I have decided if I meet death by drowning I will breath my last breaths playing the memories I hold most dear in my head, and hold my breath untill I’ve played my best, then remove my regulator and inhale at that moment I’ll recall a particular dive with my wife and watch the Majesty of it one last time untill I fade away. Likely to the music of Hey Jude, but that is still to be determined. I don’t know how others with dangerous occupations deal with the concept of their death in it, but that is mine.
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Let me tell you a story.
I was working in the ER, we got a call over the radio that a pediatric cardiac arrest was coming in via EMS.
Background: Toddler found in pool underwater, estimated time in the water: 30 mins-3 hours. Body temperature on arrival was around 93, normal is 98.7. If I had to guess, this child wasn’t in the water long.
This kid was met with some the smartest minds and most skilled medical professionals I’ve ever worked with. For an additional 35 mins in the trauma bay we worked with no success. The child died, everyone in presence was devastated. I’ll never get over it, the entire experience was absolutely horrifying.
Moral of the story: Drowning isn’t something that you can easily be resuscitated from despite what you see on TV. If you have children, make no mistake; it doesn’t matter if you live in a state with few pools and natural bodies of water…teach your kids how to swim. Get them professional lessons, it’s worth every. single. penny. If you’re an adult and can’t swim, learn. Don’t be embarrassed, just do it.
One day the life of your child or even yourself may depend on it.
Ultimately death from drowning, like cyanide poisoning, is because the electron transport system, can no longer synthesize ATP. As we typically have a reserve of just 3-4 minutes ATP in our brain cells, they will start dying soon after. Other cell types will survive longer because of lower ATP demands.