Water safety tips for fun summer

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Over the holiday weekend, five people drowned in Georgia, including a man at West Point Lake.

Two of the drowning incidents occurred on Lake Lanier and another man died on the Chattahoochee River.  Locally, 34-year-old Jermiah Israel of Jonesboro drowned when he tried to save his father, who had fallen into West Point Lake near the Cameron Mill Road bridge.

According to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Israel and his father were sleeping on the boat around midnight on Sunday, when the father accidentally fell out of the vessel. Israel jumped in the water to try to save his father, but he never resurfaced.

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We feel for the family, who is obviously going through a difficult time right now. The incident also remains under investigation by Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

All of these incidents — which were all under very different circumstances — prompt more discussion of water safety, and what can be done to avoid injuries on the water.

It’s really hot outside, and that means just about everyone will head for the water at some point.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has several water safety tips to help keep people safe.

The first is that the corps always recommends wearing a life jacket in the water. Life jackets provides extra time for a rescue if you fall into the water.

The Corps also recommends expecting the unexpected, just because accidents can happen at any time. It’s hard to prepare for everything, but being on your toes and knowing your surroundings can help prevent an injury or tragedy.

Another tip is to avoid alcohol intake and time in the water. Alcohol causes an inner ear condition that can cause individuals to become disoriented under water, and they may lose sight of which way is up and which is down.

For more tips, visit pleasewearit.com.