2 minutes reading time (376 words)

How to Prevent Watersport Accidents

As Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, santanvalley.com is bringing you valuable tips from our local fire department, Rural Metro Fire, to ensure your family's safety during watersports activities. As San Tan Valley residents gear up for a weekend of boating and swimming, these safety reminders could make the difference between a happy holiday and a tragic accident.

Last year, the U.S. Coast Guard reported a distressing 4,000+ recreational boating accidents that resulted in 658 fatalities and 2,641 injuries. Globally, around 1.2 million people drown each year, shockingly, half of these are children. Moreover, one-quarter of the drowning victims are people who could swim, proving that no one is immune to the dangers of open water.

Open water, such as lakes, rivers, and the sea, pose a higher risk due to limited lifeguard presence. Although drownings can occur year-round, the numbers tend to spike during warmer months when watersports are at their peak.

Shawn Gilleland, the Public Information Officer for Rural Metro Fire in Central Arizona, shares some critical tips to keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer season.

Boating Safely:
  • Always wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device.
  • Consider taking a boating safety course.
  • Refrain from alcohol use when operating a boat.
  • Check the weather forecast before setting out.
  • Ensure you know how to swim.
  • Stay seated in your boat; standing up in a small powerboat or canoe could lead to capsizing.
  • Don't overload your boat; follow the manufacturer's capacity recommendations.
  • Always use common sense and operate your boat responsibly.

Safe Swimming Practices:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Rely on approved flotation devices, not on toys or inner tubes.
  • Don't overestimate your swimming skills; stay within your comfort zone.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Be vigilant when children are near water.
  • Avoid diving into rivers or lakes; unseen obstructions or shallow water can lead to paralysis.

For more information on boating safety, please visit www.americanboating.org.

Rural Metro Fire, a subsidiary of American Medical Response, is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The company is dedicated to providing fire protection and emergency services to unincorporated communities around the nation. Click here for more about Rural Metro Fire.

Remember, safety is a shared responsibility. Let's enjoy our water recreation and keep each other safe this Memorial Day weekend and beyond.
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Saturday, 20 July 2024

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