The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

May 31, 2013

People are encouraged to be safe when near water

ENID, Okla. — School’s out, it’s getting close to being summer and that means more people are going to be spending time around water.

While people are having fun around the water, we also urge them to use caution so the good times don’t turn tragic.

We had an unfortunate incident in Kingfisher recently in which a teen boy jumped into a rain-swollen Uncle John Creek and drowned.

It was the second time in six years someone drowned there after rains increased the water level — and the flow of the current — in the creek.

There are “no swimming” signs posted, but sometimes the lure of adventure is too much for young people.

That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice safety when they are around water, whether it’s in the bathtub at home, the local pool, the lake or a river.

The Army Corps of Engineers has a website (http://watersafety.usace.army.mil/) for its National Water Safety Program that includes a lot of good information and tips, particularly when it comes to boating safety.

Some basic swimming safety tips on the website are good for lakes and other swimming locations:

• Never rely on toys, such as inner tubes and water wings, to stay afloat.

• Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.

• Swim only in designated swimming areas.

• Never swim alone.

As with anything, following a few simples rules can prevent a tragedy.

Have fun, but be safe.

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