- Death is caused by cutting off the supply of fresh air from the lungs, so that the process of purification of the arterial blood ceases, life is rarely restored after an immersion of five or six minutes, but recovery has been recorded after twenty minutes. Efforts to restore should be continued for at least two hours, or until the arrival of a physician. What is done must be done quickly. The body should be recovered without loss of time, from the water, and laid face downward for a moment, while the tongue is pressed back by the finger to allow the escape of water or any other substance from the mouth or throat (no water can ever by any possibility get into the lungs). This may be done while the body is being conveyed to the nearest house; on arrival, strip off clothing, place on a warm bed, with head raised very little, if any, apply friction with the dry hands to the extremities, and heated flannels to the rest of the body. Now breathing must be artificially restored. "Silvester's ready method" is most favored by physicians, and consists in pulling the tongue well forward, to favor the passage of air to the lungs, and then drawing the arms away from the sides of the body, and upward, so that they meet over the head, and then bringing them down until the elbows almost meet over the "pit of the stomach." These movements must be made, and persisted in, at the rate of sixteen to the minute. Another method is to place the body flat on the face, press gently on the back, turn body on its side or a little beyond, and then, turning back upon face, apply gentle pressure again, repeating at the rate of sixteen times a minute. As soon as vitality begins to return, a few drops of brandy, in a little water, may be administered, and, in a few minutes, some beef-tea or light nourishment. Persons at all weakened by debility, especially by any thing that affects the nervous system, or those recovering from sickness, or in the least indisposed, should never venture into water beyond their depth, as such conditions predispose to "cramp," against which the best swimmers are helpless.