Water experts gives tips to avoid drowning for swimming season
WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) - Recently, multiple drownings along the Coast have caused pain for families as they’ve lost their loved ones.
As the sun is heating up for the swimming season, water safety experts wanted to provide tips on how to prevent drownings in our waterways.
Commodore of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Larry King said drowning statistics are shocking.
“We find that about 80% of fatalities are drowning victims, and over 80% of those weren’t wearing life jackets while underway,” King said.
From the end of April to the middle of May, there have been three drownings on the Coast, two of which being children.
According to King, the heartbreaking reality is that more drownings happen in waterways than in pools.
“Each year you’ll find that most people drown in fresh water, rapid moving, sometimes cold fresh water. out in the ocean or around the gulf,” King said.
King said if you know you’re a weak swimmer, then wear a life jacket to keep you afloat.
“We drive that home as hard as we can that life jackets will save you. It won’t do any good if they’re in a locker somewhere or floating out in someplace,” King said.
Head lifeguard of Flint Creek Water Park Stewart Smith oversees both the waterpark and the creek itself. He said that lifeguards make sure to look out for indications that someone is drowning from their trained learning.
“The signs that we look for are bulging eyes, people gasping for air and passive-active swimmers,” Smith said.
Smith urges folks to check for tools to help them swim before they enter the water, as well as get outside teachings from experts.
“We have life preservers that we can put on the weak swimmers. I also encourage all parents to make sure their kids get in a swim lesson. Even if it’s just something to help their fear of water because if you’re in a panic situation then you’re in trouble,” Smith said.
Smith also encourages not to go into the water alone and always keep someone near you.
“Mainly have a buddy system. If you’re out with friends make sure you have a buddy. Even if you brought a child that’s not yours, it’s still your responsibility to keep an eye on them,” Smith said. “This is a fun atmosphere, but at the same time, if you’re not watching your children then bad things can happen.”
Smith said some pools, as well as Flint Creek Water Park, are looking to hire more lifeguards this season.
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