When people fall into water with clothes on, they automatically try to swim, which tires them out quickly. An innovative training method to prevent drowning in this situation is a Japanese technique called uitemate, which is simply floating and waiting. When in distress in the water, you shouldn't swim or panic but instead just float on your back and wait to be rescued. Hold anything above you that can help you float, such as an empty bottle or paddle.
It's important that people know that if they gets into a water accident, they should use uitemate first. Children can be trained to do this at a young age. Older people may have a harder time learning not to panic.
Similarly, if you see someone else who is drowning, you should not dive into the water to try to save them (unless you are a trained life-guard). This often results in two drownings. You should first get someone to call an emergency number (9-1-1) immediately, then instruct the person in the water to roll over and float on their back until help can safely retrieve them. Pass them a floation device, only if you can do it without danger of being grabbed by the drowning person.