Georgetown Parks & Recreation

Water Safety Month: Lake Safety

Swimming and boating in natural waterways present different risks than a pool. It is important to be aware of the hazards when spending time near a lake, and establish rules and safe behaviors with your family.


US Army Corps of Engineers Logo

Our featured partner is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As the steward of many public waters, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and thoughtful activities in and around the water.

Before entering or being around the water, keep these five things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about.

  • Expect the unexpected – Accidents can happen within seconds, so always be prepared for the unexpected. If you are ejected from a boat, fall, or jump into water that is colder than 70 degrees, you can inhale water from involuntary gasping, hyperventilation, panic, and sometimes vertigo that can cause you to drown. You can also be knocked unconscious if you are ejected from your boat or fall into the water along the shoreline while fishing.
  • Wear a life jacket – By providing time to be rescued, it will help ensure you survive an unexpected fall into the water. It can also save your life if you become exhausted due to fatigue, waves, or current while swimming. An adult can drown in 60 seconds and it takes a strong swimmer 10 minutes to put on a life jacket after entering the water. Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns.
  • Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in natural waters such as a lake, river, or pond is different from swimming in a pool, and your swimming ability decreases with age. It is never too late to take swimming lessons and learn to swim well. Several people every year drown while swimming to retrieve boats and toys. Let those go because they are not worth losing your life over.
  • Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol induces an inner ear condition (caloric labyrinthitis) that can cause you to become disoriented when underwater and not realize which way is up. If you jump or fall in the water, you can become disoriented and swim down instead of up to safety, causing you to drown. This can more likely happen if you have been consuming alcohol.
  • Understand “boater’s hypnosis” – It is a condition brought on by the effects of sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion experienced during a day of boating. Boater’s hypnosis can slow your reaction time almost as much as if you were legally intoxicated. Adding alcohol to this condition intensifies the effects.
    source: https://www.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/News-Release-Article-View/Article/2592907/army-corps-of-engineers-promotes-water-safety-this-summer-season/

Activities

Gather your markers, crayons or pencils and design a custom swimsuit. Remember that by choosing bright colors, you could prevent a drowning accident.

Print these coloring sheets at home and turn them in at the Georgetown Recreation Center or send a photo to melissa.pecorino@georgetown.org for a chance to win $20 off a summer pool pass. 5 winners will be selected.
(Entry deadline: June 1. Limit one pool pass discount per household.)

Water Safety Month Swim Suit Coloring Sheet (PDF)

Water Safety Month Swim Trunks Coloring Sheet (PDF)

 


Resources

Bobber the Water Safety Dog
You’ll find activities, cartoons and other water safety fun – an excellent program for teaching water safety to young children.

Life Jackets Worn… Nobody Mourns Campaign 
The goal of this campaign is to reduce public recreational water-related fatalities on our nation’s waterways.

Water Safety YouTube Playlist
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offers dozens of videos highlighting the importance of water safety.