Forensic Sci Med Pathol (2017) 13:396 DOI 10.1007/s12024-017-9858-5 LETTER TO THE EDITOR Roger W. Byard Accepted: 21 February 2017 /Published online: 9 March 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017 The motivation for writing the Commentary on drowning overwhelm swimmers . The high rate of drowning in rivers deaths in rivers  came from two recent incidents that oc- in Australia and other countries may in part be a result of this curred in the Murrumbidgee River in the small Australian lack of understanding. The reported cases also initiated an country town of Wagga Wagga. analysis of specific issues that may arise in the medicolegal The first occurred in late afternoon in summer when a assessment of river drownings . group of men decided to go for a swim after work. None of Finally, I would like to very sincerely thank the three col- the swimmers had consumed any alcohol. Although it was leagues and good friends, Peter Coleman, Adam Ford and hot, there had been recent rain and the river was quite swollen, Martin Keir, who managed to save me from a river drowning with a strong current and numerous eddies. During the swim in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on Tuesday 14th February 2017. one of the group grew tired, and as he headed towards the shore became caught in an eddy and started to submerge. Fortunately he was dragged ashore by his friends who later described him as feeling like a “dead weight”. The rescued References swimmer was most struck by a sudden feeling of loss of buoy- ancy. Subsequently the role of significant but concealed river 1. Byard RW. Drowning deaths in rivers. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. eddies in producing these effects was appreciated. Six weeks doi:10.1007/s12024-017-9857-6. previously a 42-year-old man in the same stretch of river had 2. Wagga Wagga missing man: wife ‘clung to man as he was swept not been so fortunate when he was dragged underwater from away by river’. The Daily Telegraph December 29 2016. http://www. dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/wagga-wagga-missing-man-wife- his wife’s arms and drowned . clung-to-man-as-he-was-swept-away-by-river/news-story/e82281 These two cases draw attention to a situation that is often bfefe55560d89f665ef906a4c1. Accessed 20 Feb 2017. underappreciated in river drownings and near-drownings, 3. Peden AE, Queiroga AC. Drowning deaths in Australian rivers, even by professionals, where an apparently calm surface over- creeks and streams: a 10 year analysis. Royal Life Saving Society lies quite strong currents and back eddies that can very quickly – Sydney, Australia. * Roger W. Byard firstname.lastname@example.org School of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Frome Rd, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
"Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology" – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 9, 2017
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