Retention Pond Dangers and What to Do in an Emergency
We have spoken of them in the past, retention ponds. You see them in every new development. They are ponds purposely placed by builders to control water flow and flooding. Sometimes they are attractive and sometimes they are scars in the ground, but always they are dangerous. Several months ago a teenager, leaving a party drove into a retention pond and suffered wrongful death. Even sadder was that he was listed as missing for several days because no one saw the car enter the pond and the car sank below the top of the pond. Yesterday, a frightening but injury free crash involved a retention pond. A car with two women entered a retention pond near the Church of Acts in the 3700 block of South Dearborn. A quick thinking teenager, Olivia Martin waded into the pond, which was about five feet deep and rescued those in the car. Her quick thinking may have saved the passengers’ lives.
Remember a couple things about cars and water. Do not panic. The car will float for a few minutes giving you time to plan. Because the water on the outside of the car is heavy and is pushing against your door, it will not be possible to open the door until the car fills with water. If this is the only way out, stay calm as the water fills the car, then open the door and swim out. Most retention ponds are less than 10 feet deep, giving you opportunity to reach the surface and swim to shore. Remember, if the car ignition is still on, the electrical system is still on. This mean the electric windows will still operate. If you choose this route of escape, when the window is lowered, water will rush in and will block your exit until the water fills most of the car. As hard as it will be to wait, do so. Fighting the rush of water will only cause you to tire and will not be effective. You will need your energy to swim, save it. Some companies sell a hammer like device to allow you to break a window to get out. If you use this method, you will also have a rush of water into the car when the window is broken. Don’t panic, wait and when the car fills swim out. All this is easy to say when the panic is not upon you, but if you mentally prepare, you will have a better chance of survival.
About Pools: Designate someone to be the eyes on the pool, more than one is better. Do not talk to that person while they are working. Children die in the blink of an eye. An 8 year old girl died in a Brownsburg pool when 50 or more people were standing by, apparently no one designated to watch the pool. Our sympathies go out to the family of Aalayah L. Willis. Please do not let another precious child out of sight. Watch those pools.