Water safety key to summer fun|
Posted 7/8/2011 Updated 7/11/2011
by Airman 1st Class Lynsie Nichols
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
7/8/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Nearly every year the Air Force loses Airmen to drownings with locations varying from rivers and lakes to oceans and pools.
In 2010, the Air Force lost 16 people in summer related incidents, and 71 percent of those incidents involved reckless behavior.
As part of the Critical Days of Summer campaign, which began Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day, the Air Force is encouraging everyone to practice water safety this summer.
When practicing water safety at home, remember to:
· Supervise children in or near water.
· Keep the bathtub plug out of reach of small children.
· Never leave children alone in the bath.
· Keep liquid filled buckets out of reach of children.
· Empty children's paddling pools as soon as they have finished using them.
· Close top loading washing machines.
When practicing water safety at the pool, remember to:
· Obey swimming pool rules and advice signs.
· Listen to the pool lifeguards.
· Stay away from the deep end if you are not a strong swimmer.
· Make sure the water is clear of swimmers before jumping in.
· Do not run around the pool edge.
· Check the depth markings on the poolside before diving.
When practicing water safety at rivers and lakes, remember to:
· Be careful not to stand on an overhanging bank.
· Check the current before entering the water.
· Before diving, check water depth and look for snags, sandbanks, weeds, rocks and other hazards.
· Enter cold water slowly.
· Avoid swimming near boat ramps or in boating areas.
· Be aware of boats using the waterway.
· If trapped in quicksand or deep mud spread your body's weight by lying flat on the surface, and move by slow arm and leg action.
· If caught in a rapidly flowing river, rapids or storm water drain, try to float feet first in a half sit position.
· Read and obey the signs posted.
When practicing water safety at the beach, remember to:
· The safest place to swim at the beach is between the red and yellow flags.
· Mark a reference point on the shore, to avoid drifting.
· Always read The Surf Conditions Board, if available.
· If you think conditions are too rough for you or your family, don't go in the water.
· Always swim with a friend, never alone.
· Swim parallel to and not away from the shore when you swim long distances.
· Swim in well lit areas, so you can be seen if you get into trouble.
· For your safety, leave the water immediately when requested by a lifeguard.
When practicing water safety while boating, remember to:
· Do not mix boating and alcohol.
· Research life vest requirements before boating.
· Make sure your boat has emergency equipment (flares, first aid kit, etc).
· Never go boating alone.
· Know the limitations of the boat and do not overload it.
· Follow the boating traffic rules.
· Check weather conditions, and continue to monitor weather reports.
· Always leave word of destination and estimated time of return.
· Wear and take appropriate spare clothes allowing for possible changes in the weather.
· Stow all gear safely.
· When entering or leaving a small boat, keep the weight low and centered.
· Keep the boat away from swimming areas, rocks and other water craft.
· Keep a lookout for the warning signs of bad weather, such as clouds building up to windward or waves becoming bigger and occasional white caps appearing.
· If bad weather threatens, head for shore.
· Learn and practice capsize and person overboard drills.