Health & Safety

July 26, 2013

Water safety tips

  • Wear flotation devices while boating, water skiing or kayaking just to name a few. Always keep them buckled, snapped or zipped, so if you fall in, they will stay on.
  • Do not mix drinking and swimming or boating at picnics or outings. More than 10 percent of all drowning victims had consumed alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages can reduce your ability to make good decisions.
  • Swimming requires a lot of energy and makes muscles susceptible to cramps. If you lose energy, rest on your back in a floating position or star position, and use a minimum amount of motion.
  • Undertow, rip tides or strong currents: There are several types of dangerous marine currents that should be avoided, if possible. If you are caught in a current, do not fight it. Swim parallel to the shore or diagonally toward it, heading toward the shore only after you are out of the current.
  • Water Temperature: Cold water can cause shock to the body. Blood vessels constrict, your body loses heat and you can develop an oxygen deficiency that causes unconsciousness and ultimately drowning. Hypothermia caused by cold water can cause death in minutes.
  • Stay with a swamped boat or canoe. Many boats will not sink even if the hull has been ruptured, and they may offer some buoyancy. Sometimes you can climb or swim into the swamped boat and paddle to shore. It is also easier for emergency rescuers to find you if you are close to the boat.
  • Consult with your local municipality, Coast Guard office, American Red Cross office, and other authorities for additional water safety tips, rules and regulations.



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