U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages safety on the water

Published Sept. 13, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The death of a young man at Carr Creek Lake in Knott County, Ky., July 26 is a strong reminder of the importance of being safe around water.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages you to spread the water safety message to those who spend time on or near the water.  Current low water levels at many recreation sites increase the need for vigilance, as conditions will be different than those to which visitors are accustomed.

Wear a life jacket; don’t just carry one on board. Make sure it is Coast Guard approved and appropriately sized. It only takes 10 seconds to put on a life jacket, and that 10 seconds could save your life.

At Army Corps of Engineers sites, swimming in non-designated areas is the highest (47 percent) cause for all water-related fatalities nationwide. Of all swimming-related fatalities, 87 percent of those were in non-designated swimming areas. Don't take chances by over-estimating your swimming skills, and swim only in designated areas. Never dive into lakes and rivers. Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat. Never swim alone.

Boaters should take safety classes, be familiar with governing state laws, wear a life jacket, and have proper safety equipment onboard before boating. Seventy percent of reported fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction, according to Coast Guard statistics. Check the weather forecast. File a float plan with family or friends who are not on the vessel.

Water safety programs are offered at no cost by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Release no. 12-007

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