More public recreation fatalities occur in July than any other month, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) asks you to please play it safe while on, in, or near the water because drowning is a leading cause of death this time of year. USACE public recreation fatality statistics show that 88 percent were male, 89 percent were not wearing a life jacket, and 47 percent were swimming in areas not designated as a swimming area.
Most people that drown would have survived if they had worn a life jacket. Life jackets come in many styles, sizes, and colors. Choose the right one that fits you properly and make sure to wear it correctly. There is a life jacket for every kind of water activity including swimming. One of the most comfortable life jackets for adult swimmers to wear is a manual belt type inflatable life jacket. If you wear an inflatable life jacket of any kind make sure you know how it works, how to inflate it, inspect it before every use, how to rearm the CO2 cartridge, and repack it properly.
Here are some more tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable time this summer. Swimming in open water is different and more difficult than in a swimming pool. You can tire more quickly and get into trouble due to waves, current, lack of experience, exhaustion, or your abilities to swim as long as you use to have decreased. You could find yourself in a situation where you are fighting for your life. Even the best swimmers can misjudge their skills and abilities while swimming in a lake or river. Conditions can change quickly in open water, so before entering the water, please wear a life jacket. While wearing a life jacket you will not use as much energy, it will help you float, and most importantly it will be there when and if you ever really need it.
Every year several people lose their lives because they were encouraged to do something, such as swim across a lake, cove or pond, out to the nearest buoy, to retrieve a beach ball or something else that floated away or some other activity like jumping off a cliff or bridge. Your actions can have deadly consequences, so you should never encourage anyone to do these types of activities. Friends should do things like swim in designated areas and encourage each other to wear a life jacket.
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