NYC Elderly Drown in the Rage of Hurricane Sandy

Superstorm Sandy took its toll on all East Coast residents, and particularly impacted the lives of elderly people in New York City. As the Associated Press is reporting, many elderly residents suffered tragic drowning deaths after refusing to evacuate the city.

Flooding triggered by Hurricane Sandy caused most to drown alone in living rooms, bedrooms and basements. One of the examples cited in the article is that of a 90-year-old woman who refused to evacuate, claiming she was tired. After the floodwaters abated, the woman’s body was discovered in a face-down position in her home. She was just one of close to a dozen New Yorkers aged 65+ who lost their lives in the storm.

One elderly victim was confined to a wheelchair, which might have prevented her from escaping the rising water. Other elderly victims who could have escaped were possibly either too weary or too stubborn, preferring instead to stay back and put their lives in danger.

Some others probably didn’t expect that the storm would be as awful as it was. This might have been the case with an 82-year-old man who resided in a beach bungalow and spent most of his time caring for his aging bulldog. It seems the man did not take the calls to move to higher ground seriously. His body was discovered in the marsh behind his house. His dog also perished; his body was discovered on the stove.

Of those who tried to escape the storm, the police found the bodies of an elderly couple close to their car in an empty lot on a New York borough. The police assume that the husband and wife died after their car went underwater.

Some elderly people were helpless because of their poor health. Take the case of a sickly 75-year-old woman who was residing in a Manhattan borough neighborhood. The power failure shut off her oxygen supply. Though her grandson hurried to a nearby hospital to obtain a manual tank, he was unable to save her – she died from a heart attack.

Elderly residents are not the only ones at risk of drowning deaths. The drowning of children is also a very common occurrence in the US and a leading cause of death of these young ones. recently reported on the commitment of one El Paso, Texas woman to help put a stop to drowning deaths involving children.

The woman, an ISR Certified Master Instructor, is using her comprehensive and exclusive training to help children aged 6 months to 6 years develop self-rescue skills. The duration of the training is four to six weeks. The lessons are just 10 minutes long for five days a week.

The instructor said the lessons teach the youngsters how to save themselves, if they land up in the water. The children will learn to turn from completely faced down to completely faced up, by the end of the lessons.

El Paso residents witnessed five near-drownings so far this year, of which four of the victims were children. This experience persuaded at least some El Pasoans to try and make a difference.

Opinions about the praiseworthy program differ. One parent opined that the program created increased confidence. Another said that though the program didn’t assure them that the children were fully protected, it was an additional skill for them. The first Infant Swimming Resource Instructor will start giving the lessons by the start of spring next year.

In some cases drowning is unavoidable,as we just saw in the example of Hurricane Sandy. Some parents lose their children to drowning in their own swimming pool which is indeed extremely painful for them. However, some cases of drowning can arise because of the negligence of a swimming instructor, lifeguard or owners of a hotel pool. Some pool accidents result because of non-adherence to pool safety requirements.

If your loved one was injured in a near-drowning episode or lost his or her life in a drowning accident due to the carelessness of another, an experienced drowning accident attorney can help you get the justice you deserve.


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