Officials encourage water safety during holiday weekend - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officials encourage water safety during holiday weekend

The head Lifeguard at the YMCA warns parents about keeping and eye on their children while at the pool. (Source: WALB) The head Lifeguard at the YMCA warns parents about keeping and eye on their children while at the pool. (Source: WALB)
Some parents say they bring their children to the pool because there is always an extra set of eyes.(Source: WALB) Some parents say they bring their children to the pool because there is always an extra set of eyes.(Source: WALB)
The DNR will be patrolling the lakes this weekend. (Source: WALB) The DNR will be patrolling the lakes this weekend. (Source: WALB)
According to the CDC, every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. (Source: WALB) According to the CDC, every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. (Source: WALB)
Jesse Harrison is a DNR Ranger. (Source: WALB) Jesse Harrison is a DNR Ranger. (Source: WALB)

It's almost time to celebrate Independence Day, and for many, those celebrations will happen by the water. 

Madeline Sauls and the children she watches spend lots of time at the pool during the hot summer months. 

She has three young kids to keep an eye on. That's why she, her mom and sister all keep a close watch.

"We kind of tag team so that someone who has years of experience can really keep an eye on them," explained Sauls.

According to the CDC, every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, about one in five of them are children 14 and under. 

That's why officials take water safety very seriously in the pool and on the lake.

"We encourage parents to use the little puddle jumpers and different kinds of life jackets. They have many different kinds that you can buy at stores for safety for your kids," said Teresa Manning, Head lifeguard and Interim Aquatics director at the YMCA.

And this weekend, the Department of Natural Resources is encouraging everyone to take precautions and talk about safety rules just like the Sauls do. 

"Safety is number one, we talk about it every day on the way over here and before they even jump in," explained Sauls.

Many July 4th celebrations involve heavy drinking, and officials warn parents to be extra cautious of how much they are drinking, especially if they are watching over their children.

It is illegal to drive a boat under the influence of alcohol, and the holiday weekend is no exception. 

"Boating under the influence is not going to be tolerated on the waters," said DNR Ranger Jesse Harrison.

All in all, officials just want to keep everyone safe.

"Our main goal is for everyone to have fun this weekend and at the end of the day, go home safely," explained Harrison.

Multiple Rangers will be patrolling the lake during the holiday weekend. 

They say if you are drinking, give the boat keys to someone who is sober and knows how to drive the boat. 

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