The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is urging visitors to Center Hill and other area lakes to follow water safety tips while enjoying water based activities this Labor Day weekend. This year the Corps has experienced 13-water related fatalities.
“Life is too valuable to lose unnecessarily by ignoring safety precautions,” says Diane Parks, Chief of Operations Division, Nashville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Please partner safety with fun when on or near the water.”
Wear your life jacket. Ninety percent of drowning victims were not wearing their life jacket. Many people rely on their ability to swim when boating or swimming in undesignated areas. Not one person that has drowned planned on dying that day. So please, always wear your life jacket, and make sure anybody with you is wearing theirs.
Water and alcohol don’t mix. About 50 percent of fatal accidents involve alcohol use by the boat operator or passengers. Alcohol intensifies the disorientation caused by being in the water or by the water entering the ears-often causing an intoxicated person to swim down instead of up.
Keep an eye on your children. It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown and 60 seconds for an adult to drown. Always swim with a friend and make sure you know where they are at all times. Don’t rely on inflatable toys to keep yourself or your children safe because they may not keep you from going under water and potentially drowning. Know before you go. Get a weather forecast before you head out to a Corps lake this holiday weekend. While underway, observe current conditions and be aware of changing weather patterns.
And the Corps says the leave a float plan. Let friends and family know where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone and who you’re taking with you.