Practice safety on rivers and lakes

May 7, 2013

Dry, warm weather means more people are outdoors enjoying the sunshine and waterways. The warm weather conditions mean the public will look for ways to cool off. What better way than taking advantage of the beautiful areas that surround us?

Unfortunately, sun, heat and fair-weather activities such as swimming also present their share of hazards. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury/death for children under the age of 18, according to a press release from Eastside Fire & Rescue. Most drowning deaths occur in outdoor settings such as lakes, rivers, and ponds.

Fishing and boating are major factors in drowning among middle-age men, according to the release. U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are required for children 12 years or younger while on boats less than 19 feet long. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe is to always wear a life jacket when fishing and playing in or near the water.

It is important to understand your limits and be aware of water conditions. Dangerous currents, cold water temperatures, hidden debris and objects in the water can pose unknown hazards.