NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 27, 2014) – It’s almost time to say goodbye to summer. If you’ll be spending the weekend on or around the water this Labor Day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District urges you to remember these safety tips.
Before heading out for the lake or river, be sure you have a life jacket on hand for everyone. Check that the life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved, are the right size, the right fit, and are appropriate for the activity you have planned. Then please make sure everyone wears it. Life jackets save lives by keeping you afloat and providing time for rescue.
If you plan to swim at a lake, please do so at a designated swim beach that is marked with a buoy line. Adults should plan to take turns being a “water watcher” to keep a close eye on children when they are swimming. A child can drown in 20 seconds so stay within arm’s reach while supervising them.
Know your swimming ability. Each year, swimmers get into trouble swimming after a toy, a boat or some other object that drifts away. It’s not worth dying for to swim after the object. Let it go or put on a properly fitted life jacket and then retrieve the item.
Summer is ending, but you don’t have to let the fun end this Labor Day weekend. Please wear a life jacket to help ensure you return home alive and encourage your best buddy to wear one too.
On average, nine out of 10 people who drowned at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake or river project didn’t wear a life jacket. There have been 17 fatalities at Nashville District lakes this recreation season; none wore a life jacket.
“We want every visitor on Labor Day to avoid taking unnecessary risks while swimming and boating,” said Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander. “Be sure to wear your life jacket and avoid taking risks such as swimming long distances or jumping and diving into unknown waters where rocks and debris could harm you. It’s also important to remember that alcohol and water recreation don’t mix. Have fun in the water, but take the necessary precautions so you and your loved ones return home safely.”
The Nashville District operates 10 lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee within the Cumberland River Basin, which include Lake Barkley, Cheatham Lake, Old Hickory Lake, J. Percy Priest Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Center Hill Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Lake Cumberland, Laurel River Lake, and Martins Fork Lake. The district also manages 25 campgrounds. The public can get more information and make reservations at www.recreation.gov.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor water-based recreation, managing more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. For more information on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)