Death by drowning is very common and it can occur in fresh or saltwater. Knowing that water related deaths can be challenging to both the investigator and the pathologist, this course will explore and review those challenges and examine the aspects of drowning deaths.

What is Drowning? Defined as death occurring within 24 hours of a submersion event, the process of a drowning victim encompasses how a VICTIM reacts to the drowning event and how the BODY reacts after death occurs.

This course will explain the common process of a drowning death, how the body reacts to this process, and the most common forensic evidence observed in bodies pulled from water.  Case studies and scene pictures are presented and discussed along with supplemental videos showcasing two high profile cases.

Although prior knowledge of medical terminology and the forensic investigation process is recommended, it is not required for this course.

Completing this course will increase your knowledge of water related deaths, various circumstances surrounding these deaths, the how and why a body decomposes in water, and why it should never be assumed a victim who is found in water, died via drowning.

This course includes:

  • Over 10 Course Lectures
  • Supplemental Reading
  • Course Lecture Notes
  • Case Studies
  • Case Photos
  • Over 2 hours of lecture
  • Specific Terminology and Definitions


After taking this course you will be more familiar with:

  • drowning process
  • better understanding of challenges associated with underwater investigations
  • know the stages of drowning and be able to describe the types of drowning
  • become visibly familiar with common types of evidence found on drowning victims