If someone falls off a dock or is swimming near a dock and has an emergency, you do not have much time to provide a rescue. A person can drown in as little as 60 seconds after inhaling only a quarter cup of water. Having lifesaving tools immediately available and knowing how to use them properly can save that person's life.
Installing lifesaver ring buoys and other floatation devices on docks with easy access can help in a rescue situtation. These lifesavers should be easy to find and within immediate reach. This equipment should already have adequate lines, checked regularly for operational function and be user friendly. Proper training is still important.
If you find someone needing help in the water:
Immediately throw the lifesaver floatation device to the person in distress. Make sure a line is attached in the event you need to re-cast the device or need to pull the person in.
Keep sight of the person in the water at all times.
Call first responders and make sure everybody around knows there is a person in the water.
Direct the person in the water to safety with large motions, loud noises or bright lights.
Do not attempt a rescue by jumping into the water. A distressed or panicked person will always cause you to be in danger as they attempt to use you as a flotation device to save themselves.