Swimming Safety

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

The rising temperatures make it easy for water lovers to be tempted by a nice, cool pool, a dip in the ocean or even a day out on the lake.

Last summer, four people drowned in the Wiregrass. Recently, a 4-year-old toddler was found in a Dothan pool and though statistics show drowning as the leading cause of death for those 14-years-old and younger, water doesn't discriminate against its victims.

"Most people get into situations they are not comfortable with. They either go into fast currents, the deep end of a pool, or simply do not know how to swim," says Wayne McKinnon of the Houston County Search and Rescue Team.

However, it doesn't have to happen to you or your loved one.

Water World Operations Manager Kelly Lyon says, "We suggest that people don't swim by themselves, always swim with a buddy. Always wear a Coast Guard certified lifejacket, especially if you can't swim. In the pool area, make sure there's somebody watching the children, a parent or possibly a lifeguard certified by the American Red Cross."

Still, make no mistake, you don't have to go swimming to drown. Many times, the Houston County Search and Rescue Team have gone diving for those who fish.

"Boaters will take off their life jackets and fall in the water. You find this happens especially during the winter because their clothes are so heavy," said McKinnon.

If you're going down to the beach be extra careful. Rip currents caused several drowning incidents last year and four already this year.

The best advice is to not fight the water, because it can take you under

If you can't swim, the city of Dothan’s Leisure Services Department offers swimming lessons for age’s 6-months and up.


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