Brandon, MS -
Summer is here and people of all ages can be seen swimming at the pool or at the Ross Barnett Reservoir. But, emergency officials urge everyone to be careful.
According to AMR, about 6-thousand adults and 200 children drown each year nationwide. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15- to 44-years-old. And, most people drown within 10- to 30-feet of safety.
"We usually come on weekends," comments Rachelle Guthrie.
Guthrie tells me she and her family they like to go out on the boat, get the wind in their hair, and swim to cool off.
"I love the water, but the water really scares me," expresses Guthrie.
That's because she knows the dangers of drowning can happen at any time.
"A few years back a good friend of mine died in a boating accident out here," recalls Guthrie.
She urges boaters to slow down and enjoy the ride, and to obey all water instructions.
"They have markers out here and tell you to stay within that because there are big stumps," warns Guthrie.
She also keeps an eye on her children at all times and makes sure they're wearing life-jackets.
"Always have an adult and stay in a group," Jasmine Morgan tells News Channel 12.
The nine-year-old and her cousin Macayla also try to avoid getting dehydrated.
"Usually, my mom tells me you need to drink a lot of water," adds Morgan.
AMR spokesman Jim Pollard also warns that a drowning is a silent killer because a person does not splash water loudly or scream.
Advise for boaters:
- Wear your life jacket. Don't just carry it in the boat. It only works if you wear it.
- Know your boat and the "rules of the road." Take a boating safety course.
- Make sure your boat has all required safety equipment in working order.
- Consider the size of your boat, the number of passengers and the amount of extra equipment that will be on-board. DON'T OVERLOAD THE BOAT!
- Never let children take the wheel and pilot the boat, not even "jet skis."
- Power boat users should check the electrical and fuel systems for gas fumes.
- Follow manufacturers' recommendations BEFORE starting the engine.
- Check the weather forecast. If severe weather threatens, get to shore immediately.
- Tell a relative or friend where you're going and when you'll return.
Advise for swimmers:
- Never swim alone no matter how skilled a swimmer you may be.
- Never rely on toys such as water wings or even inner tubes, to stay afloat
- Don't take chances by over estimating your swimming skills.
- Swim only in designated swimming areas.
- Closely watch all children near water. Never leave small children alone in or near water, not even bathtubs and cleaning buckets! In mere seconds, a small child can wander away and then fall or jump into water. Children can drown in just a few inches of water. Each year about 200 children drown and several thousand more require paramedics and hospitals for treatment of near-drowning. Children who survive near-drowning may suffer permanent brain damage and breathing problems. Fence in pools and install self-latching gates. Keep a phone nearby in all water sports.
- Remember: A drowning person does not splash water loudly or scream. Drowning is a silent killer. So, it is dangerous to think, "Oh, if my child or friend gets in trouble in the water, I'll hear it."
- Enter the water to save a drowning person only a last resort. Before risking your own life, stay on a firm base such a pier or boat. From that safe base, extend a pole to the person, throw a rope or life ring to the person or reach out your arm to him or her.