EMS braces for drowning calls - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

EMS braces for drowning calls

May 17, 2005

Albany, Lake Chehaw -- In the last few days, two youngsters have nearly drowned in . Monday night, a teenager was rescued from a swimming pool by a neighbor. And as summer approaches, there will likely be more close calls or drownings.

South Georgia lakes are already getting more crowded as the temperature heats up. And with kids getting out of the school this week, pools and lakes will no doubt be popular places. But even experienced swimmers need to be reminded of the rules of the water.

Before heading out on the water, remember the murky waters of south Georgia rivers and lakes can hide dangers. "We just had a flood. The water you dove into last year, the bottom could be completely different. It may have been ten feet deep last year, but a sand bar might have moved in or the flood may have deposited tree limbs on top of that," said Dougherty EMS Phil Jackson.

DNR Ranger Danny Bishop says to wade in, use a paddle or stick to measure the depth of the water. Remember the depth finder on your boat can be deceiving, since it doesn't always detect limbs or other obstructions in the water. "This water is in constant motion so things are constantly changing."

Bishop suggest if you're on the boat, wear a life jacket even if you're an experienced swimmer. "If they get injured, they're not prepared to swim injured. With a life jacket, you don't have to swim. It will just keep you afloat to someone can come help you out."

And never stand up in or jump off a moving boat. "Fiberglass or aluminum when it gets wet is very slippery. You can slip and hit your head on the motor."

In East Albany, the City is filling up the Carver swimming pool. It will open Saturday, drawing dozens of children. "It isn't good enough just to think my child can swim well enough that they won't get in trouble," said Phil Jackson. "You always need parental supervision.

Jackson says it's never too early or too late to learn to swim. Always follow the pool rules, keep a phone next to the pool in case of an emergency, and have life jackets and life rings nearby. "It isn't good enough just to have those available, you have family members or staff that know how to use them as well."

Private pool owners, keep the fence around your pool locked to keep out children. These safety tips can prevent an accident from drowning out the fun of a summer swim.

You might have heard that a children can drown in a teaspoon of water. It's true. A great way to keep your family safe, learn CPR. It save an Albany teen's life last night and it can save the life of someone you know.

Children under ten years old must wear a life jacket while on a boat.

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