JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the nation’s leading provider of outdoor recreation, reminds everyone that water safety is a concern for all seasons.
"Summer has ended, but our Florida climate means people are boating and swimming year-round. Water safety is always important," said Nelson Colón, natural resource program manager. “We want visitors to be safe while they enjoy themselves at Corps-managed recreation areas and water bodies, such as Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway. Taking water safety precautions saves lives.”
Visitors to recreation areas should observe these safety practices:
- Learn to swim well and practice floating
- Always wear a life jacket when in or around water
- Watch your children
- Don’t depend on air-filled toys such as water wings that can deflate in seconds
- Use the buddy system and never swim or boat alone
- Inspect your equipment regularly
- Take a safe boating course
- Check weather conditions and prepare for sudden weather changes
- Boat and swim smart – boat and swim sober
- Obey all signs and buoys
Water safety tips are available at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/WaterSafety.aspx and http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/WaterSafety/WaterSafetyTips.aspx.
If you recreate around water, expect the unexpected and wear a life jacket. Even excellent swimmers should wear life jackets while boating. If you are over age 16 and know how to swim, inflatable life jackets are a good option. They are cool and comfortable and available in collar and belt pac styles. For information on how to choose the right life jacket, go to: http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/Publications/howtochoosetherightlifejacket_brochure.pdf.
Visitors can take advantage of a free life jacket loaner program at the Corps’ W.P. Franklin and St. Lucie recreation areas. Swimmers and boaters can borrow life jackets at loaner stations and return them at the end of the day.
The Corps is the nation’s largest federal provider of water-based recreation, manages more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, Corps sites provide a wide range of safe and affordable outdoor recreation activities close to home. For more information on Corps recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us.
Release no. 15-086