Summer Drowning Dangers in Lakes and Rivers

The summer months can turn deadly for people who don’t take the proper precautions while swimming and boating in nearby lakes and rivers. Ohio is full of freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, and none of them are 100% safe for outdoor recreation lovers. The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project is hard at work gathering statistics on drowning deaths, and they hope to use that information to bring greater safety awareness to the general public.

Drowning Happens Quickly

Even the best swimmers aren’t immune to potentially dangerous water conditions. Tragically, boaters fall overboard, swimmers get pulled down by strong currents, boating accidents result in trauma and drowning.  Water becomes deadly very quickly. It takes fewer than three minutes submerged in the water to drown. First, the heart stops beating, within four-minutes without oxygen, brain damage sets in. After just ten minutes, the chance of recovery drops to a mere 14%. The odds are not in your favor if rescuers can’t get to you quickly.

A Number of Deaths This Year Alone

So far, at least four people have died in Ohio waters. One of them, a 19-year-old, wasn’t even in the water. He was on the Huron Pier when a large wave dragged him in. Another, a 56-year-old man went into the lake near Voinovich Park and never made it out. Two more lost their lives in a boating accident on Lake Erie. Rescuers recovered their bodies weeks later. Even the strongest swimmers don’t always make it out alive.

How to Stay Safe

If you must go into a body of water, remember to stay alert and utilize the buddy system. Someone must be on land paying attention to the swimmers, even if there are only a few of them. These water watchers should know the signs of drowning, as well as have basic knowledge of CPR and water rescue techniques. If you think that you’re in danger of drowning because the water seems to overpower you, flip over, begin to float on the surface and follow another swimmer to the shore. In addition, don’t get into the water or on a boat if you’ve been drinking alcohol. Drinking and boating is a very deadly combination.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to an accidental drowning that could have been prevented by those on the shore, you may have recourse. Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

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