11. Dry Drowning Happens When the Larynx Goes Into Spasm
Remember that when water begins to enter the airway, the larynx, or vocal cords, will go into a spasm. This prevents the person from calling out for help, but it also prevents the water from entering the lungs. In a case of wet drowning, the vocal cords will eventually relax so that water enters the lungs.
In dry drowning, however, the airway will completely seal itself shut. The person will actually die from asphyxiation. No water is able to enter the lungs, and the person does not experience lung damage or cardiovascular distress. He or she dies from lack of oxygen.