It's something none of us ever want to imagine doing -- jumping in the water to save someone. In many cases a person or child needing help ends up drowning their rescuer. However, knowing what to do can save the victim's life and yours.
Lifeguard Theo Lee at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center teaches others how to save lives. He said once you see that someone is drowning, have someone else call 911.
"That way if things escalate beyond their control someone will be on the way to help you," Lee said. "If possible, reach a hand out to them, or maybe a leg or a shepherd's hook. That will reach out and grab without you actually getting in and putting yourself in danger."
Lee said you can also throw out a buoy to them. A buoy is your best bet when jumping in to rescue someone. Going in without one should be your last resort as it is very dangerous.
"So when you jump in to try to save somebody they might not be worried about your well-being but more about theirs at the time," Lee said. "So maybe they're trying to get air and they might push you down or they might grab you."
If you do have to go in after someone, approach them from behind, as they're less likely to grab you and push you under that way. Talk to them and tell them to remain calm.
Just because you're a great swimmer doesn't mean you won't tire out and need help yourself. Lee said don't fight your rescuer.
"If you're conscious and can speak, try to help. Maybe help them bring you to the side. Maybe kick your legs if you can or just float on your back."
Lee said having a plan before an emergency happens is always best.
When you're at the beach a rescue is even harder. Before swimming, identify the closest lifeguard stand with a buoy just in case you need it.
When taking children swimming, you should be undistracted, watching them and be in the pool within a foot of them at all times.