Maj. David Kopecky, project engineer, Fort Knox Resident Office, throws a first pitch with Bobber the Water Safety Dog at his side at the Louisville Bats game, June 15, as part of the water safety night at the stadium. Park ranger and Kopecky and his wife, handed out water safety items and shared water safety messages with game attendees.
The death of a 21-year-old June 16 at Louisville District’s Rough River Lake is a strong reminder of the importance of getting water safety messages out to children and adults.
The booth displayed samples of life jackets and offered water safety messages such as the following:
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 if you are involved in a boating accident.
Boaters - 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.
Swimming - Know Your Limits. 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.