Lifeguard Instructor: "Always use a reaching assist even if it's just your bathing suit".
Me: "Why? That won't help me reach them!"
Lifeguard Instructor: "So you can let go if you have to."
You can't save everyone but life is full of suprises and people are stronger than you think. Sometimes when they realize they're on their own they start kicking their legs and make their way to shore.
Aside - were you told of the girl who whipped off her suit during the final exam? I think it's a lifeguard myth myself ... just curious if they're still telling it 30 years later.