County issues Water Safety Guidelines, seeks to prevent any additional drowning   

(Monticello) – Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau has issued Water Safety Guidelines, in an effort to prevent any additional drowning this summer.  The latest tragedy occurred Thursday, August 11th in the Town of Lumberland.

“The drowning this summer, have shown that the victims were not wearing life jackets, nor were they swimming in areas that are guarded by lifeguards,” said Fanslau.  Sullivan County wants to make sure that everyone is safe while enjoying water activities.  Although drowning can occur while swimming, boating, fishing, jet or waterskiing, these deaths can be prevented.

“Shallow water near shore may seem warm, but temperatures can fall quickly as water deepens,” said Fanslau.  According to the New York State Department of Health, even when temperatures climb into the 80s, water temperatures can remain cold.  In 50-degree water, even good swimmers will find it difficult to cover a distance of more than a half mile.

Fanslau advises following these water safety guidelines:

  1. Always swim with a buddy.  Never swim alone.
  2. Don’t drink and swim.  Alcohol and water activities don’t mix.  Hot weather, fatigue and alcohol can be a deadly mixture.  Also, operating a boat while intoxicated is a crime.
  3. Parents with small children should share supervisory responsibilities with lifeguards.  Vigilance is required; a small child can struggle for as little as 20 seconds before submerging.
  4. Don’t overestimate swimming ability.  Currents can be deceiving and treacherous, posing a risk for even the strongest swimmers.  Be particularly careful in unfamiliar areas where you are not certain of water depth, hidden obstacles or other hazards.
  5. At home, properly fence your swimming pool, and always supervise children using the pool.
  6. Don’t swim in unregulated areas, such as quarries, rivers or ponds.
  7. To be safe, always swim at regulated pools and beaches.  These facilities are designed and maintained to protect swimmers from hazards, and many provide lifeguards.  But, be aware, that drowning can still happen at those facilities.

“The bottom line is to be safe while enjoying the summer water activities in Sullivan County,” said Fanslau.  “Don’t swim in unregulated or unguarded areas, and always wear a properly fitted lifejacket on boats, jet or water skies in areas that are unregulated,” added Fanslau.  “The summer of 2011 has already seen far too many drowning incidents, particularly on the Delaware River,” concluded Fanslau.

“Wear properly fitted lifejackets!”

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For more information, please contact David Fanslau at 845-807-0450

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