Emergency Suction Entrapment Release Procedure

Should you observe someone trapped against the main drain of a pool, if you are alone, do not jump in the pool yet. Chances are you will not be able to pull them from the drain. We suggest you follow these steps to save the entrapped person.

Step 1:

             Call 911

Step 2:

             Shut off all pumps as soon as possible.

-The main objective is to break the vacuum. Just shutting off the pump(s) may not do so.

Step 3:

             Break system vacuum: Open Pump Lids.

-If the you cannot open the pump lid, take any measures needed to introduce air into the line.
-Break the pipes going into the front of the pump(s). Use your heel, hammer, brick, axe, etc.

*This will release the suction holding the person to the drain as long as there is not a check valve between the suction port of the pump and the main drain in the pool.

Step 4:

            Retrieve the entrapped person and get them to safety.
- Engage CPR if needed.

             *If above is not effective: Lubricate the digit, limb, or surface with petroleum, sun tan lotion, butter or any other available lubricant. Then pull the individual free.

             *If more than one person is present, one should follow steps 1, 2 and 3 while the other does their best to provide air to the entrapped individual. (scuba tank, snorkel, upside down 5 gallon bucket, or mouth to mouth.)

 Note to EMT/First Responder: Please carry a small charged scuba tank with regulator in company vehicle for such occasions. Also a clean empty 5 gallon bucket to create a diving bell for entrapped child individual as well as counter ballast to assist in pulling them free.

This page is dedicated to: The Hannibal Fire Department in Hannibal, MO.
EMT Chris Comer contacted us during a suction entrapment emergency seeking a way to release a child held to a main drain. The Suction Entrapment Emergency Procedure saved that child's life.  Well done Mr. Comer, you are a Hero.

New Water Solutions, Inc., Drainsafe®, drainsafe.com nor I, Ron Schroader recommend the use of one product or device over another. Products must be implemented as per system/job specific application. It is the obligation of the installer to understand the intended use and application prior to installation of any product or device. All products must be installed as per manufacturers instructions and be job site specific to meet the criteria of each individual application.