Frank Pia

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Francesco ("Frank") Pia is an American lifeguard, recognized in the field for his research and training on ways to rescue people in trouble in the water. He is best known for the Pia carry, a widely used method of holding a drowning non-swimmer's head out of the water while swimming with the victim to shore; the instinctive drowning response which characterizes people on the verge of sinking underwater; and the RID factors in supervised drownings.


Pia attended Long Island University where he received his BA in 1968 and his MA in 1973. He attended the City University of New York and received his MS in 1976, and an Advanced Certificate in Clinical School Psychology in 1977.

He has several publications in the area of forensics on drowning accident causes that are used by lawyers and aquatic experts in personal injury litigation, including:
  • Unobserved Drownings: The Unnoticed Struggle
  • Establishing Causation in Unobserved Drownings

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