FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - In less than a month, there have been three unintentional drownings in the Pine Belt. Just last week there were two, one in Marion County and the other in Forrest County. YMCA Aquatics director Dewey Case said the incidents could have been avoided.
"It's just heartbreaking," Case said. "It's a tragedy for the family and it's something that absolutely is 100 percent preventable."
Case said everyone should learn to swim and know several basic swimming skills.
"Basically it's being able to jump in the water, being able to float, being able to tread water (and) being able to swim 25 yards," Case said.
If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, Case said you should not panic.
"If you don't panic you can at least get on your back and float," Case said. "Kick back to the side of the pool, you can wait for someone to come get you, but you can't do that if you panic."
Case said to always wear a life jacket.
"Even if you're a great swimmer, there's still a chance of you having a medical emergency like a heart attack," Case said. "There's still a chance of you falling and hitting your head, so even if you're a great swimmer still wear a life jacket, it can save your life."
A survey conducted by the Red Cross found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, only 56 percent of them could perform all five of the basic skills that could save their life in the water.
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