SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Fourth of July is one of the busiest holiday weekends. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District would like to remind its parks visitors - and everyone recreating on or near the water - to have fun and play it safe this Fourth of July.
• Wear a life jacket.
o Statistics show that 90 percent of those who drown at Corps lakes and rivers may have survived if they had worn a life jacket.
o Drowning is the nation’s second leading cause of accidental death.
o Expect the unexpected. Accidents happen, even to responsible boaters. A life jacket can provide time for rescue.
• Know your swimming ability.
o Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool because a swimmer can tire more quickly and get into trouble.
o Conditions can change quickly in open water.
o Swim in designated areas and wear a life jacket. A life jacket will help conserve energy and provide flotation.
• Be a “Water Watcher.”
o When on or near the water, watch your children.
o A child can drown in 20 seconds.
o Drownings can happen quickly and quietly. A drowning victim’s head may be back, gasping for air, and they may not be able to call for help.
• Avoid exhaust fumes around boats.
o Carbon monoxide, an invisible killer, can accumulate anywhere in or around all types of boats. Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors on your boat. Maintain a fresh circulation of air through and around your boat at all times.
o Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: eye irritation, headache, nausea, weakness and dizziness.
o Avoid areas around boats where exhaust fumes may be present. Do not swim under or around the boarding platform where fumes can accumulate.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest federal provider of outdoor recreation in the nation. Its 422 lake and river parks in 43 states provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities, with more than 90 percent of its recreational areas within 50 miles of a major metropolitan center.
Find a Corps park near you: www.CorpsLakes.us
Release no. 2012-P-022