Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Water safety advice from Army Corps of Engineers

* Learn to Swim and Practice Floating - Learning to swim is one of your best defenses against drowning, besides wearing a life jacket. Also, teaching those you love simple survival floating skills can help, because hopefully when your swimming ability is reduced from exhaustion, remembering how to relax and float can save your life.

* Never Exceed Your Swimming Abilities or Swim Alone - Regardless of how well you swim you could have to fight for your life due to unexpected conditions. A fellow swimmer can help you out when you encounter the unexpected.

* Don't Dive in Lakes and Rivers (Open Waters) - Open water situations where water depth is unknown and conditions are constantly changing with floating or underwater debris can be very dangerous.

* Wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket can save your life - it only takes an adult an average of 60 seconds to drown and on average it takes 10 minutes for a strong swimmer to put on a life jacket after entering the water. If you will not wear it for yourself then wear it for those who love you.

* Alcohol and Water are a Deadly Combination - When under water and under the influence of alcohol or drugs you can suffer from an inner ear condition (caloric labyrinthitis) that causes you to become disoriented and not know which way is up. The use of alcohol and drugs can also affect your coordination, judgment and reaction time, and could lead to deadly consequences.