The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, urges everyone to practice water safety.
With the recent rainstorms across the upper Midwest, river and lake levels are higher than normal. The increased flows have led to more debris in the water, which creates additional safety risks to boaters and swimmers.
The Corps recommends the following water safety tips:
Before getting under way:
• Know your boat and know the rules of the river or lake.
• Take a safe boating course and check your boat for all required safety equipment.
• Consider the size of the boat, the number of passengers and the amount of extra equipment you have.
• If you will be in a power boat, verify the electrical system and fuel system is in good working order.
• Wear your life jacket; don’t just carry it on board.
• Leave alcohol behind to increase your safety and decrease your risk.
• Check the weather forecast.
• File a float plan with a friend or family member.
Since most drowning victims had no intention of being in water and since most people drown within 10-30 feet of safety, it is important to learn to swim well. Remember:
• Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.
• Don’t overestimate your swimming skills.
• Swim only in designated swimming areas and never swim alone.