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Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

Being under water for over four or five minutes is generally fatal,

but, unless you know the body has been submerged a long time, make an

attempt to restore life. Don't get disheartened and give up, if you see

no signs of life after a few minutes' work. Work on the body for at

least an hour.

Your comrade's lifeless body has just been pulled out of the water. What

do you do? You are alone.

1. Don't waste time in removing his clothes.

2. Reach your finger in his mouth and straighten out his tongue.

3. Lay him on his stomach; then straddle him; reach both arms under his

stomach; raise his hips two feet from the ground and jostle him. This

drains the water from the stomach and lungs.

4. Lay him on his stomach; turn his head to one side so his nose and

mouth do not touch the ground; extend his arms beyond his head (see

illustration); locate his lowest (12th) rib; place hand, finger, and

thumb closed (see illustration) on body so that the little finger curls

over the 12th rib; hold your arms and wrists straight and lean forward

slowly so the weight of the upper part of your body will be brought to

bear gradually upon your comrade's ribs (see illustration); let this

pressure continue for about three seconds; then remove it suddenly by

removing the hands. Apply this pressure at the rate of from 12 to 15

times a minute.

5. Do not attempt to give him any kind of liquids while he is


6. Apply warm blankets as soon as possible.

7. Never say He is dead--Work on his body for at least an hour.