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Heading out to the lake? Wear a life jacket! | News

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Heading out to the lake? Wear a life jacket!
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 25, 2012) - During this Memorial Day weekend officials of the Army Corps of Engineers want lake visitors to make the right choice to wear a life jacket when on or in the water.  To help visitors do just that, the Corps' Little Rock District is offering life jackets for temporary loan while you are visiting our parks in Arkansas and southern Missouri.
 
Visitors who arrive at a Corps lake this Memorial Day weekend who forget to bring or who do not own a life jacket can check with the gate attendant or a volunteer camp host upon arrival.  The attendant may have a life jacket available for loan or may be able to direct the visitor to a nearby honor system loaner board.

The loaner program has limited quantities of life jackets for children and adults.  Loaner life jackets helps ensure park visitors have the chance to enjoy water activities safely.
 
When deciding whether to wear a life jacket, consider these statistics:

  • Many drowning victims meant to be on shore or in a boat, not in the water.
  • Waiting until there is an emergency to put on a life jacket is like trying to put on a seat belt just before a crash.
  • Even experienced swimmers can quickly get into trouble.
  • Adults can drown in less than a minute; children in as few as 20 seconds.

A limited supply of life jackets are available for loan at Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Norfork, Clearwater, Greers Ferry, Nimrod, Blue Mountain, Millwood, Dierks, DeQueen and Gillham lakes, as well as several Corps parks along the Arkansas River.

The Army Corp of Engineers has released the following tips on water, boating and swimming safety.

Water Safety Tips
- Wear Coast Guard approved life jackets when around water, most people do not expect to end up in the water and of those who drown, were not wearing a life jacket.
- Water and alcohol do not mix.
- Check weather forecasts before embarking on water activities.
- Be aware of your personal water skill and knowledge.

Boating Safety Tips
- Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket, many types and styles are available.
- Check all safety equipment, replace and repair before launching.
- File a float plan with family and friends.
- Be a courteousness boater, follow the rules of the road.
- Swimming near or under platforms on outboard motorboats, where CO2 (carbon monoxide) fumes accumulate, can kill.

Swimming Tips
- Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket, many types and styles are available.
- Learning to swim is an important skill for all ages.
- Never swim alone, always swim with a buddy.
- Always swim in designated swimming areas.
- Diving or jumping from cliffs and bluffs invites tragedy.
- Always supervise children of all ages when around open bodies of water.

(Source: Army Corp of Engineers)

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