by Sanniah Hassan
According to a recent news report by Chronicle Live UK watching Baywatch can teach a person how to save a life. How can Baywatch teach one to save a life? You may think since the show as well as the movie are notorious for reasons far from life saving. Evan Chrisp is a 16 year old who survived an unavoidable accident, from Gateshead, who whilst swimming off the Northumberland coast with his friends and family, got swept away at sea. He claimed, “I was jumping over waves with friends and got swept out to sea. I tried to fight the water, but I quickly realized this wasn’t working and I was in serious danger of drowning.”
He recounts how a trip to the cinema to watch the latest Baywatch movie aided him in fighting for his life. According to him, the 2017 ad campaign by RNLI [the Royal National Lifeboat Institution] played right before the screening of the movie allowed him the focus that ensured his survival. This ad showed that it is a person’s basic instinct to fight and try to swim harder if one falls into the water, however, according to the RNLI, if a person falls into cold water he/she should focus on floating as that would help calm breathing so that the person can swim to shore after the initial cold-shock wears off.
Furthermore, Simon Chrisp, his dad, when inquired about the incident explained that he looked on feeling helpless. He said, “As a parent it was terrifying. It was like seeing 16 years of love, of potential, of memories in abject danger.” So he called for the Coastguard. Meanwhile, Evan remembered the ad he had seen earlier about floating in cold water. He explained, “I knew what to do because a couple of weeks before we had gone to the cinema to watch Baywatch and the advert on before it was from the RNLI about what you do if you get caught in cold waters.” He elaborated, “this helped me catch my breath and calm down before then trying to swim to safety. Despite my legs cramping badly thankfully I made it to a yacht. Ultimately I think the RNLI’s advice to float saved my life.” The incident had taken place last year at Beadnell Bay in Northumberland in June last year.
Moreover, this advice can be applicable in Pakistan as well. Since Karachi being a coastal area, every year many people die by drowning or being swept away by the waves. If we as a nation could ensure safety regulations and educate our people, by ensuring that they follow the safety measures put in place, it is guaranteed that a many lives could be saved.