Viewpoint: Safe Swimming

Two young teenage brothers were pulled out of an Albany Motel pool Sunday afternoon.  One boy died.  The other is in critical condition.

A 13-year-old boy drowned Sunday afternoon in the Ocmulgee River in Telfair County.

In July, an 18-year-old man drowned while swimming in the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes County.

That same month, two Wilcox County youngsters drowned in a residential pool.

Just days later, a man drowned while boating in the Flint River.

In June, two people in Albany drowned. A 76-year-old woman in her swimming pool, and a young boy who climbed a fence to swim in a neighbor's pool.

That brings the death toll to at least seven people in our area who have drowned this summer.

These tragedies point out the need for people to be sure that they are good swimmers before they ever get in the water.

And for people not to get into the water alone. A good swimmer needs to be with you, watching out for problems.

Most YMCA's offer learn-to-swim programs, as do some city recreation departments.

Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children can handle themselves in the water. And even if you're an adult who thinks he's an accomplished swimmer, always have a swim buddy.

Don't cause needless tragedy for your family and loved ones… stay out of the water unless you are prepared, and the conditions are right for safe swimming.