RID factors were originated by Frank PiaPatrons to identify why drownings occur in actively lifeguard aquatic facilities.

What are the RID factors?

RID is an acronym for 3 causes associated with drowning in a supervised pool.

RID stands for recognition, intrusion, distraction.


R in RID is when a Lifeguard failure to recognize a patron is in trouble and needs to be rescued.

Being able to recognize a patron is in trouble and be able to respond appropriately is the most important part of a lifeguard’s job. You must be able to tell the difference between patrons swimming and playing safely in the water and recognize patrons that need to be rescued even though they are not calling for help.


I in RID is an intrusion. Intrusion happens when secondary duties interfere with your primary duty of patron surveillance. Some of these duties could be, cleaning the deck, picking up garbage, pool water tests, taking payment from patrons,s and checking change rooms. All these duties might be part of the job but can not be done at the same time as patron surveillance. Lifeguarding has a high cognitive load and a lifeguard can not do other duties while scanning.


D in RID is when a lifeguard is distracted from patron surveillance. You can easily lose focus for 20 – 30 seconds because of a conversation, daydreaming, internal dialogue, and a patron could die because you were distracted. In an earlier lesson, we showed you there are a number of items competing for your attention so you need to control or eliminate distractions and focus on your scanning so you can recognize the patrons who need help.

Web Articles

Web article outline what each R.I.D.

Web Article