SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 27, 2013)
– “Life jackets should be your family’s closest companions as you enjoy the water this Fourth of July weekend,” said Jonathan Friedman, senior district ranger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District.
“Statistics show that 89 percent of those who drown at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes and rivers may have survived if they had worn a life jacket,” said Friedman.
Here are more safety reminders for a safe and enjoyable weekend on the water.
Swimming in open water is different and more difficult than in a swimming pool. Even the best swimmers can misjudge their skills and abilities while swimming in a lake or river. Fatigue is possible much more quickly and trouble can arise due to waves, current, lack of experience, exhaustion or decreased abilities.
Wearing a life jacket will allow swimmers to not use as much energy, help them float with little effort and, most importantly, help ensure that they return home alive to those they love.
Peer pressure can sometimes kill, so friends should make friends swim in designated areas and wear a life jacket.
While on or near the water watch children at all times. It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown.
“Usually people believe that if someone is drowning they will yell for help and that is not the case at all,” said Pam Doty, national water safety program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Several people drown every year within 10 feet of safety because the people around them did not recognize the signs of drowning.”
The four signs of a drowning victim can resemble someone just playing in the water. They include head back, mouth open gasping for air, no yelling or sound, and arms slapping the water like they are trying to climb out of the water.
Have fun this Fourth of July holiday, stay safe and bring everyone home safely.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation, managing more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states. To find the nearest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, please visit www.CorpsLakes.us