Video: St. Louis County Sheriff's Office Offers Advice on Water Safety
Jul 04, 2019 04:44AM
With a holiday weekend and warm temperatures ahead, more and more people will be out on the water. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is reminding people to be alert and cautious when out in the water.
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office stresses the importance of life jackets all the time, but there's other things to consider when you're out in the water.
Following two water emergencies in the Twin Ports, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is reminding people to be cautious and alert in the water. Photo: WDIO
St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips says drowning is silent and a tragedy can unfold within seconds. Life guards are trained to watch for silent behavior, but when a life guard isn't around, watching out for your swim partners, boating buddies, and people around you is crucial.
Checking the weather and wind is also important. That will determine conditions in the water. Although it may feel hot outside, that’s not the case in the water.
The surface temperature was in the 60's earlier in Lake Superior but going a couple of feet deeper, it gets to the 40's or lower. That cold water causes a shock to your body and affects swimming abilities.
"If I hit cold water, what happens is the blood is drawn from your limbs and pretty soon there is no muscle use so there’s incidents over the years where victims struggling in the water say, I can't move my arms or legs,” St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips, said.
Avoid the water when it's too cold. Phillips says to also avoid doing any swimming activities alone.
For boat operators, keep enough life rings and life jackets at all times, and make sure everyone on the boat knows where they are located.
Also, wear life jackets for any water activities like canoeing, paddle boarding, and especially kayaking. Kayaks are rising in the accident statistics.
"You might want to take a life ring, boat cushion, even a boat fender with you if you're swimming out to a swim raft just as safety," Phillips said.
When you're wearing a life jacket, make sure it says its U.S. Coast Guard approved and make sure you get the right size so that it fits snug and comfortable.
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