How Long Does It Take To Drown?


13 Answers

Julii Brainard Profile
Julii Brainard answered
The short answer is that you basically start drowning as soon as you lose consciousness. This varies a lot, depending on circumstances (how the person ended up in the water in the first place), and water temperature. But a general figure is 2-3 minutes to lose consciousness, and a total 5-10 minutes to die (hypthermia creates the upper limit).

When water begins to enter the airways, the throat spasms (laryngospasm), shutting down the passage into the lungs. This mechanism keeping water out of the lungs continues to operate until the person loses consciousness. In the meantime, any additional water going in the mouth/nose ends up in the stomach.

In 10-15% of cases the laryngospasm does not stop until cardiac arrest. The person dies with no water in their lungs ("dry drowning"); these people are very hard to resuscitate.

Maybe as many as 20% of people in near-drowning incidents will go onto develop neurological problems as a result of the experience. Being in cold water though, is an advantage for these people; it reduces the likelihood of brain damage.
markeith jackson Profile
Approximately 3 minutes. A baby or toddler it may take a little less for them
thanked the writer.
Daniel Tagliento
Daniel Tagliento commented
But do not count that young person out just that quick...they had been existing for nine full months in a totally liquid environment and have retained a unique ability to shut down their metabolism and will 'trap blood/oxygen' within their brain. This extends the time that the brain cells at least remain alive. This condtion also happens when all ages of people are immerged in cold water! People, who have been not breathing in ice cold water have & are being revived after being submerged for 30, 60 minutes and more. DO NOT ever stop recusiatation efforts till a certified medical persons has taken over the care!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Just enough to bring on laryngospasm. Once water enters the lungs, drowning victims experience a spasm in the larynx that seals the airway resulting in asphyxiation. This is the most common death for drowning victims and explains why most drowning victims have little water in the lungs.
Aisha Profile
Aisha answered
As soon as you open your mouth inside the water you have a fair chance to drown. Specially when you don't know swimming at all , it will take as little as 2 minutes to drown.
jackie Profile
jackie answered
Your lung have to be completely full
Daniel Tagliento Profile
Less time then it takes to wash up on the shore...[three minutes] you should have asked in a more timely manner, that exact same question of the late actress, Natalie Wood...she would not take a bath abroad a ship but preferred to wash up on the shore!!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
About 5-10 minutes I've seen it on youtube don't try it at home people, never try it

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