If you have known me very long, you might remember that I was the Aquatics Director for a parks and rec in my former day job. I lived and breathed water safety and still staunchly promote the benefits of being safe in and around the water.
Although people play in the water with the best intentions, doing so without a life-jacket is a recipe for Danger!.
This past week, I heard the tragic news of a 14-year old boy, who, while playing on the rocks in a shallow area of the American River near Folsom Lake, was swept away by the deceptively cold water and swift current and drowned. His body was found two days later.
Sadly, this will not be the only drowning incident that makes the news.
The temperature in Sacramento this week reached the mid-90s, hot for this time of year, but not unheard of. The largest snow pack ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada mountains will melt quickly into the lakes, rivers and streams within days. The rivers can be treacherous this time of year.
People believe they are good swimmers. I hold that belief about myself. But when the water is COLD and tons of debris like entire trees with branches and roots still intact, floating just below the river’s surface snag onto a person’s body, it WILL take someone under and never let go.
This is the danger of spring snow-melt. As temps heat up in the Northern Hemisphere, no matter where you live, please respect the water and put on a life-jacket.
I practice what I preach in my water sports stand-up paddling and windsurfing. Here are my lifelines when I am out in the water.
Last year I posted several articles about water safety. For more information on proper life-jackets, also called PFDs or personal flotation devices, please refer to Is a Life Jacket in Your Beach Bag?
The above featured image shows Type 2 life-jackets hanging free for use on a large sign. These signs with life-jackets are available in several spots along the Sacramento and American Rivers.
News media oftentimes shows clips of people swimming in the rivers just yards away from where the free life-jackets are hanging. Sad.
Please be safe and stay out of danger!