A lake isn’t just a body of water; it’s a veritable minefield of disastrous ways to end your life. Going to the beach carries the risk of leaving behind a bloated corpse. A waterpark is a series of colorful death tubes.

With summer just around the corner (a mere five months away), it’s time to bone up on water safety. If you or someone you’ve long admired starts to drown, use this guide as either a lifesaving tool or a timesaving tool, depending on the outcome. Peruse it only as reference material. Do not jokingly read it with a group of friends and laugh at the comical illustrations of lifeless victims. The drawings came from real photos that were traced over with Crayola pencils.

To ensure a favorable result, the victim must abide by two rules:

  1. They must be drowning in a reasonable fashion within a specific set of agreed-upon parameters in an easily controlled environment with no extrinsic variables.
  2. They must be swimming in one of the Great Lakes. This guide does NOT apply to the lesser Finger Lakes.

Drowning FAQ

What are the typical symptoms of drowning? What are the atypical symptoms?

Most people have never drowned to death their whole lives, so when faced with the prospect, it’s hard to tell if they might be on the verge of death or if they’re just making mountains out of molehills. For starters, don’t self-diagnose. Find a qualified medical professional to assess your situation. This ensures you aren’t alarming everyone without just cause. It’s the same principle behind not yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater that’s on fire. You wouldn’t want people getting hurt by your careless words and the fire.

What is the politically correct term for a drowning in progress?

It is no longer de rigueur to call a drowning person “air deprived,” since this implies that, without certain gasses, that person is incomplete. The correct term is: oxygen challenged. Most victims these days would rather die while being correctly referred to as oxygen challenged than have their lives saved by some idiot who says things like “air deprived.”

How should a person behave?

As a drowning person, it is a good thing to appear to be flailing profusely rather than looking unconscious, as this type of behavior might attract attention from the wrong crowd. If you are oxygen challenged, try not to panic unless someone calls you “air deprived.” Calmly state your worries to other people in the vicinity. Saying “Glug, glug, glug…” may feel like the easiest thing to utter, but taking a more direct approach greatly increases your odds of being saved.

What else can I do to greatly increase my chances of surviving?

Offer a monetary reward, as people generally respond faster to a cash incentive than to identification with an abstract concept, like heroism.

What is life like after CPR?

Life immediately after CPR is administered can be quite confusing and frightening. Oftentimes, you feel lightheaded, disoriented, and are invisible. This is normal, and it simply means that the CPR didn’t take hold. Gather your strength, making sure to leap clear out of your body and into the next dimension. Do not try to take valuables with you, such as your wallet or interesting rocks you found that day, as there are no pockets in Afterlife Pants and you’ll have to hold them in your hands for all eternity.

The best way to tell if CPR worked is by opening your eyes and breathing on your own. Don’t forget to ask if people can see you. If they say, “No, we can’t,” please refer to the preceding paragraph.

Post-rescue, you may experience survivor’s guilt if others lost their lives trying to save you for a chance at a huge cash reward. If you die, however, you may experience victim’s remorse, which is similar to buyer’s remorse, except you can’t write it off as a loss.

Upon regaining consciousness, always remember your CBSCVs: Cough, Breathe, Sputter, Cough, and Vomit!

What other treatment options are available besides CPR?

CPR is only one of many treatment options available to a victim. While CPR tends to be more effective as a means to not dying, homeopathic resuscitation treats the whole body, including your chakras, and is careful not to hyperfocus on your heart and waterlogged lungs.

I’ve administered CPR, but the victim is deceased. However, I’m pretty sure that I still have some of their germs in my mouth. Can I use those germs to clone the deceased and save their life that way?

You can certainly try! Often this approach takes years, and most people give up during the cloning-lab planning phase, which is the most boring phase of the cloning process. At that point, it’s best to throw away the blueprints and call time of death.

What if the CPR works but the victim comes back as a zombie?

The victim would have to be dead for quite some time (at least a week), then become reanimated through some kind of disease vector or lightning storm.