Corps Officials Urge Water Safety During Memorial Day Weekend

Published May 26, 2017

WILMINGTON, N.C. –  Drownings and other water-related accidents don’t have to happen

   That’s the message from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District officials who are encouraging people heading to its lakefront beaches for the Memorial Day weekend to be aware of.    

   “We’ve all heard ‘Don’t drink and drive,’ says Wilmington District Commander COL Kevin Landers, Sr.  “We also need to hear and observe ‘Don’t drink and swim, and don’t drink and drive your boat.’”    

   Landers says the number one reason for drowning deaths at Corps lakes is people not wearing lifejackets.  And that includes boaters.    

   “We have lifejacket loaner programs at many of our recreational areas.  Whether swimming or boating, just pick one up and return it when you’re finished.  We also encourage boaters to borrow life jackets if they don’t carry them in their boats.” 

   Park rangers at Corps lakes are also recommending that parents or guardians have a “designated kid watcher” to be within arms reach of children when they’re in the water.  And while kids are in the water make sure they only wear well-fitting lifejackets.

   “Parents or guardians have a false sense of security when they put inflatable tubes or toys on their kids thinking that could be a lifesaver,” says Landers.  “They’re not.  They can deflate easily.” 

   Safety at Corps lakes isn’t just limited to the water.  Mountain bikers, hikers and campers should follow all posted safety rules.  Park Rangers are available at Visitor Assistance Centers to answer safety questions or explain rules and regulations.  The centers also feature wildlife exhibits, historical exhibits, and information about the Corps dams and water resources management missions carried on at each lake.

   COL Landers said that the weather will be exceptionally hot this weekend.  He urges the public to beat the heat and stay hydrated. 

   “Please drink lots of water during your outing to the lakes.” 

   For information about the Wilmington District visit our Facebook page at or our website at .


Release no. 18-008