Differences between Male and Female Life-guards in a Virtual Rescue Situation
Keywords:Drown, distressed, visual scanning
The aim of the present research is to study gender differences in the consecutive phases of the procedure of lifesaving in the water. The sample of the study consisted of 18 male and 14 female students of Sports Science specialized in swimming, aged between 22 to 24 years. The swimmers were evaluated in their right choice to save first the drowning victim and not the distressed one and in their selection of the correct rescue equipment that should be used according to the situation. Furthermore, the athletes were rated on their reaction time to a) get into the water and b) reach out to the victim, and on their ability to locate the drown victim on a series of videos that were projected. The results supported statistically important differences between the two genders on the right choice of the rescue tool, the time needed to get in the pool (t = 5.26 p< .05) and their reaction time to reach out to the victim (t = 2.37 p< .05). Conclusively, despite the findings of slight differences between genders, either for men or for women, the sex of the lifeguard does not define the success or the failure of a rescue.