101 Critical Days of Summer: Water recreation safety

  • Published
  • By Mark Stortecky
  • 30th Space Wing
Summer is here and it's time for swimming, boating, spending time at the beach or the pool - time to have some water fun. Make sure you're prepared for a great day with the right equipment and an understanding of the risks whether you are swimming or boating; remember, life vests are the number one way to prevent mishaps around water.

This year's 101 Critical Days of Summer (week five) focuses on sports and recreation water related activities. The National Safe Boating Council's "Wear It" campaign focuses on the importance of wearing personal flotation device when participating in water related activities. The National Safe Boating Week was May 22 - 28, 2010, and as the boating season approaches, the National Safe Boating Council is preparing for another campaign to spread the message for safe and responsible boating.

This year, the council will continue to educate the boating community about life jacket wear and the options that are available when it comes to comfortable and lightweight life jackets. Other water activities for wearing a PFD are swimming, especially for small children swimming in pools, water skiing, jet skiing and parasailing. Don't let the perception of "I won't get into trouble" or "it can't happen to me" lead you into a false sense of security. Some other water safety tips are:

· Learn to swim
· Always swim with a wingman - never swim alone
· Only swim in supervised areas
· Obey "No Diving" signs
· Know the depth
· Alcohol and swimming don't mix
· Know Local Weather Conditions

Also, undercurrents make swimming hazardous along the entire coast. The only sure way to avoid exposure to undercurrents is to swim or wade only at authorized beaches where lifeguards are on-duty at all times. Please have a safe summer!