Officials Urge Weekend Water Safety

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urges recreation seekers to follow safety tips while enjoying water-based activities, especially over the Labor Day weekend when larger crowds are anticipated.  The organization encourages the public to make this Labor Day weekend a safe and fun holiday while lowering the risk of accidents.

“We want all individuals, no matter the swimming abilities, to wear a life jacket at all times when on a vessel, and plan for the unexpected while on or near the water,” stated Jason Hurley, park manager at Perry Lake in Kansas.

“This holiday weekend we will be looking for individuals practicing water safety. Once spotted wearing a life jacket, we may hand out prizes such as Frisbees, cups and stickers,” said Gina Simpkins, park ranger at Stockton Lake in Missouri.

Visitors are urged to be prepared, understand the importance of water safety and be alert to expect the unexpected.

Wear a life jacket.

  • Drowning is the nation’s second leading cause of accidental death.
  • Accidents happen, even to responsible boaters. A life jacket can provide time for rescue.
  • The following video explains how not wearing a life jacket one time can impact lives forever.

Know your swimming ability.

  • Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool because a swimmer can tire more quickly and get into trouble. Conditions can change quickly in open water.
  • Swim in designated areas and wear a life jacket. A life jacket will help conserve energy and provide flotation.

Be a “Water Watcher.”

  • When on or near the water watch your children.
  • A child can drown in 20 seconds.
  • Drowning happens quickly and quietly. A drowning victim’s head will be back, they will be gasping for air, they will not be yelling, and their arms will be slapping the water as though trying to climb out of the water.

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