Water safety tips for the summer - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Water safety tips for the summer

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Remember these tips on staying safe in the water. (Photo: MGN Online) Remember these tips on staying safe in the water. (Photo: MGN Online)
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Here are a few reminders for those who will be spending part of their summer on or in the water.

Marine police will be out on the water making sure boaters are being safe.

Those who drive a boat are required to have a license. Boats should be equipped with a fire extinguisher, throwable device and approved life jackets for all passengers. Boaters are also urged to know the rules of the waterway. Of course, drinking and operating a boat is against the law.

A lot of people will be dipping into pools and lakes over the summer.

A new poll from the American Red Cross found that while a majority of people feel confident they can swim, only half of those surveyed have the skill set necessary to get out of a body of water if they find themselves in over their head.

If you plan to go swimming, here are some safety tips:

  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Never leave a child unattended near water.
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers.

According to lifeguards, contrary to popular belief, drowning can be a silent death.

Doctors said that people who are drowning are physically unable to yell for help. As they struggle to stay above the water, the body's natural instinct is to breathe, not shout. The body's natural defense also extends the arms, trying to tread water.

People who have survived near-drownings said they feel as though they lost control of their arms and reflexes took over.

The warning signs of possible drowning, according to lifeguards:

  • People suffering 'silent drownings' have heads low in water, with mouth at water level.
  • Watch their eyes - if they are glassed over or closed, it is a serious sign of distress.
  • They will not be kicking their legs much. They may be swimming in-place, trying to tread water without success.
  • They may be quietly gasping and hyperventilating.
Experts said someone who is thrashing around and yelling for help is still in serious trouble, but they may be able to assist someone in their own rescue.

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