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May 21, 2013

DNR Reminds Citizens to Practice Water Safety

by Martha
Children Tubing

Photo by Carie Sobbott

 

With Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer right around the corner, many people will be heading outdoors to enjoy the State’s waterways and beaches. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cautions that these areas will not be staffed with lifeguards until the Memorial Day weekend and urges everyone to be extra vigilant in and around the water.

DNR offers the following swimming safety tips:

  • Pay special attention to small children and use safety devices such as life jackets on children or other individuals who cannot swim
  • Obey all warning signs that alert swimmers to dangers and be aware of any surrounding signs or markers that indicate current water conditions
  • Never swim alone or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Carry a cell phone or have other ways of contacting emergency personnel if a situation arises

If an emergency occurs, immediately call 911 and remember to Reach, Throw, Row and Go:

REACH the person in trouble by extending a releasable item, such as a pole, line or rope to pull them to safety, but not by hand as the rescuer could quickly become another victim.

THROW an object that floats to the victim if they are unreachable. A life ring, life jacket, cooler or plastic jug are suitable floating objects that can keep a troubled swimmer afloat until help arrives.

ROW to the victim, using a canoe or any other safe watercraft. The rescuer must wear a life jacket. Once the victim is nearby, a rope or paddle should be extended and used to tow the victim to shore if possible.

GO find help or yell to get other peoples’ attention and have someone call 911.

For more on water safety and to view water quality reports on locations across Maryland, click here.

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