Signs of drowning experts say people are missing

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YORK, Pa. -- Drownings don't always happen the way it appears in the movies.

"People think drowning is this situation where they're in the water, they're splashing their hands above the water, they're screaming," said Chief Matt Baily with Susquehanna EMS.

However, that's not the case, because experts say it can happen in seconds and it's quiet.

"There's not thrashing, there's not a lot of any kind of motion whatsoever, you can see the child underneath the water, trying to get themselves out, but there's not a lot of notification that someone is in distress," said Chief Baily.

Noticing important, but often missed signs could mean the difference between life and death.

"It's the bobbing that occurs and then it's the silent slippage," said Denise Johnson, Aquatics Director with YMCA in York.

"It's where the kids just quietly go under, they disappear and no one notices," she added.

"It would almost look like they are swimming on the surface, looking down at the bottom, holding their breath, looking for something at the bottom," Captain Michael Feldman, Harrisburg Bureau of Fire.

More importantly, drowning doesn't discriminate and can happen to anyone.

"A lot of the time it's endurance, a person can swim, it's the endurance that they may not have to keep them going," added Johnson,

So what's the best way to avoid a tragedy from happening this summer?

"Rotate so that everybody takes a turn and everybody is watching the kid, you don't get in a zone where you are looking in that direction but you are off watching something else," added Captain Feldman.

Experts also warn everyone to avoid drinking alcohol around the water, especially adults who are watching children.

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