Sink or Swim

Floating with your head under the water is not the best method of drowning, according to Fred R. Lanoue, Coach of Swimming at Georgia Tech. Instead, it is the key to Lanoue's nationally known "Drownproof System," which he is teaching in a special clinic at tee Indoor Athletic Building. This afternoon at 2:30 p.m. Lanoue will demonstrate techniques for handicapped people, and at 8 p.m. he will give a main lecture on the "Drownproof System" for students of the University.

The system enables swimmers to remain afloat for long periods of time. It is based on the fact that almost everyone with a lungful of air will float naturally just below the surface of the water. A person struggling to keep his head above the surface must tread water, using additional energy. In steps, the swimmer:

1) Takes a normal breath and drops his head down, so that his chin touches his chest. He is in a relaxed vertical position.

2) After a few seconds, but before he needs air, he crosses his terms in front of his head and draws one knee toward his chest, with the other leg extended back.

3) He brings his head quickly but smoothly out of the water, his chin level, exhaling as he raises his head.

4) To keep his head up long enough to get a breath, he sweeps his arms outward and steps down against the water with both feet, inhaling through his mouth.

5) He drops his arms to his sides--his legs are now together and straight down--and sinks vertically into the water, dropping his chin on his chest as his head sinks below the water. He is now back at step one and ready to begin again.