“Wear Life Jackets! Watch your Children ! Be alert to high water risks!” Corps water safety staff urges

Published May 15, 2009

Memorial Day brings picnics, the end of school for the summer, and family visits to area lakes. The Rangers and staff at U.S. Army Corps of Engineer lakes

in the region urge the public to have fun, and stay safe. “You’ll be hearing and seeing plenty of safety messages on the radio and around our lakes,” said Lakes

Manager Daniel Brown.

What are the most important to heed?

“We recommend two primary measures to improve your chances for returning home safe and happy after your holiday fun,” Brown said. “First, wear a
life jacket whenever you are near the water or in a boat. Even good swimmers can find themselves suddenly overboard with a knock on the head that makes
them vulnerable. Life Jackets are mandated by law for kids under 12, but adults should not exclude themselves. Like the slogan says of life jackets: “They float!
You don’t!”

Watch your children ! “Past seasons have seen sad and unnecessary deaths among small children at our lakes,” Brown said. “We would love for this
year to be so safe that no child dies in our waters. We ask all families to make sure that someone is keeping a really close watch on children near the water and
in the water. A few moments of distraction can be fatal.”

• Assign someone in the family, preferably a swimmer, to watch
• While you are the designated watcher, make that your sole job!
• Take advantage of the life jacket loan program to protect your child
• Stay in designated swimming areas
• If you must leave the child, FIRST get someone else to watch

“Alcohol and water sports are a dangerous combination!” Finally, Brown reminds the public that alcohol does not mix well with boating or
swimming. “Over the years we have seen some serious and fatal incidents that came about because judgment and reaction times were clouded by drinking,
even a small amount of alcohol use combined with sun glare, higher temperatures, and heavy boat traffic can be a killing combination” Brown said.

For additional water safety or lake condition information, The Corps of Engineers offices can be reached at the following numbers: Jordan Lake: 919-
542-4501, Falls Lake: 919-846-9332, John H. Kerr (Buggs Island) Lake: 434-
738-6101; W. Kerr Scott Lake: 336-921-3390; and Philpott Lake: 276-629-4512.

Penny Schmitt

Release no. 18-057