While the lake is a fun place to create memories, a lake day could quickly turn dangerous if you don't keep safety at the top of mind. Every year, there are unfortunately bad incidents that happen at the lake that at times could have been avoided. It is very important to understand and follow all safety tips when you are at the lake. Here are the top safety tips we urge you to follow during your times at the lake.
Wear a Life Jacket
Always wear a lifejacket when engaging in water sports regardless of your swimming ability. Life jackets do more than just keep you floating, they also can turn an unconscious person face up to prevent hypothermia. By law, you must have US Coast Guard life jackets on board for everyone in the boat at all times. Children under the age of 12 are also required to wear them on the boat at all times.
Keep Essentials on the Boat
You never know what can happen when you are out on the water, that is why it is important to have these essentials with you on board:
Throwable floatation devices
First aid kit
Visual and sound signaling devices
Take a Water Safety Course
Before you go out on the lake, make sure you know all the rules. No matter what activity you are doing on the water, a water safety course is a good idea. You can take one through the US Coast Guard or the BoatUS Foundation.
Take a CPR Course
In the US, more than 350K cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year. If performed immediately, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival from an out of hospital cardiac arrest.
The Nehawka Volunteer Fire Department will host a CPR Class for WaConDa community members at the Cobb Community Center on Sat June 24th from 9a - 12p. The cost of the course is $35.
If you'd like to register for this class please contact Kason Cade - Kasoncade@icloud.com or 402.326.5740.
You should avoid alcohol consumption before and while going swimming or boating. Alcohol can impair your judgment, reaction time and coordination.
Know the Navigation Light Laws
Know your state navigation laws. Each state has different navigation laws, for example in Nebraska you must have your navigation lights on at sunset, sunrise, and during all times when things are not visible.
Know the Signs of Drowning
When you picture someone drowning, you probably picture them splashing around in the water, which actually isn’t normally the case. Drowning is actually typically very silent. Here are some signs to watch out for that someone is drowning:
Hyperventilation or gasping
Their head is tilted back and they are gasping for air
Their arms are moving downward as if they are trying to push themselves upward
They are trying to roll over on their back
They are trying to swim but not making progress
They are vertical in the water but not using their legs
Their head is low in the water and their mouth is at water level
Their eyes are glassy, empty or closed and they look like they are unable to focus
Their hair is covering their forehead or eyes
Pay Attention to the Weather
No matter what, check the weather forecast. If there is not a cloud in the sky and the UV rays are high, be sure to stay hydrated, wear a hat, and reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes. You also never know when it could storm, especially if you’re from the Midwest. The sky can go from clear to stormy within minutes. Always check for chances of rain in the forecast as you never want to get stuck in a storm while you are out on the water.