This could ruin your day but save your life.

A couple of weeks ago, as my daughter and I were lounging by the pool at a resort, we had the surreal and terrifying experience of almost witnessing a toddler drown. Scary. Awful. Impossible to forget.

There were a lot of good comments, discussion, and advice in the comments section of the post that I wrote about this incident. One of the most important was the fact that it is critical to wear a life vest if you are on the open water, even if you are a strong swimmer.

With summer just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

By chance, I came across a video by Guy Cotten, a French company that makes quality marine clothing and safety gear. The video is interactive; be forewarned that it might not be appropriate for everyone (certainly not for little kids). It basically gives you a firsthand look at what it might be like to fall off a sailboat and drown.

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The video is titled “Sortie En Mer” (A Trip Out To Sea). You can experience it here.

It took me 48 seconds to “drown.”

Please be careful this summer!



  1. wow that was intense. it said i died after 0:00 mins. not sure maybe my scroll wasn’t working as i’m on a touch screen – i tried it twice.

  2. DaninSTL says:

    I lasted about 90 seconds. Interesting. Worst part was knowing the other guy didn’t know how to operate a sailboat so you are as they say in France “Screwed”

  3. pinkisnice says:

    That was intense and frustrating. Somehow I lasted 24 seconds. At least it was over with quickly. Sure drives the point home.

  4. Patrick` says:

    Learn a few ocean water survival skills and in real life you’d could last for quite a while. Good thing if you fall off a boat you don’t have to depend on scrolling your mouse wheel! 😉

  5. Last 4:43 and then gave up- didn’t feel like treading water anymore. Definitely a good reminder with a compelling visual presentation!

  6. JustSaying says:

    At least as I drown I heard someone yelling at me in French………….I will be sailing this weekend all geeked up I think!

  7. My son is the only thing I have. I have always put a life vest on him. It could be something as simple as playing on the beach and he has a life vest on. I get awkward looks from people especially if we are at a resort and he has the life vest on. I’m sorry, but I am not about to live the rest of my life in pain if I let something preventable happen to my child. He is a little bit older now, so I may not use the life vest on the shore, but the second he wants to play in that water he puts it on.

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