LITTLE ROCK (AGFC)
– The Independence Day holiday is typically among the busiest times of
the year at the region's lakes and rivers, and this year, will likely be
no exception even with the holiday falling during the middle of the
week. It is a great time for outdoor water fun, but Army Corps of
Engineers officials advise everyone to practice good water safety
Drowning is a
leading cause of accidental death, yet the number of deaths by drowning
could be reduced drastically if everyone would wear a life jacket.
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
Here are some safety tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday:
open water is different and more difficult than in a swimming pool.
You can tire more quickly and get into trouble due to waves, current,
lack of experience, exhaustion or your abilities have decreased. You
could find yourself in a situation where you are fighting for your life
with no chance of survival. Even the best swimmers can misjudge their
skills and abilities while swimming in a lake or river. Conditions can
change quickly in open water, so before entering the water, please wear a
wearing a life jacket you will not use as much energy, it will help you
float and most importantly it will help ensure that you return home
alive to those who love you. Peer pressure can sometimes kill people so
friends should make friends swim in designated areas and wear a life
unfortunate example of not wearing a life jacket in open water happened
this past weekend when two people died while visiting Little Rock
don't have a life jacket or forget yours, a limited supply of life
jackets are available for loan at Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals,
Norfork, Clearwater, Greers Ferry, Nimrod, Blue Mountain, Millwood,
Dierks, DeQueen and Gillham lakes, as well as several Corps parks along
the Arkansas River.
*While on or
near the water watch your 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.
Several people drown every year within 10 feet of safety because the
people around them did not recognize the signs of drowning," said Pam
Doty, National Water Safety Program Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers. This is because 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. Properly rescuing
someone should never include contact with them unless you are a trained
lifeguard. Reach out to the victim with something to keep your
distance or throw them something that floats to pull them to safety.
Following these safety tips can help make your family's holiday a safe and enjoyable one.