Water safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

Water safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Paul B. Johnson State Park expects to see 15,000 to 20,000 people this Memorial Day weekend.

Park Manager Bill Sykes said skiing and tubing is the most popular activity at the park and wants to make sure people stay safe.

He said the most important way to stay safe is to wear a life jacket.

"It's important because life jackets float and you don't," said Sykes.

Kids younger than 12-years-old need to wear a life jacket at all times while people ages 13 and up only need it for jet skiing and tubing. However, they are required to keep a life jacket in the boat just in case.

"That way if they have it on you, they can toss it to you," Sykes said. "If you don't have it on you, they can't toss it to you."

Frequent park visitor Jeff Thompson said he enjoys coming to the park to jet ski with his family and said he is always aware of his surroundings.

"Keep an eye out on other people, today's not too bad but sometimes it's really crowded out here," Thompson said.

During these busy holidays, Sykes said it is important to keep a safe distance between boats on the water.

"You need to stay at least 5 to 6 boat lengths if not more behind the person in front of you," Sykes said.

Sykes said if someone is drowning and you decide to help out its important to stay calm.

"Try to roll them over on their back and you get on your back to pull them back to shore try to pull them to shore so to speak," Sykes said.

Syke said if people bring alcohol to the park, they could get a ticket.