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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
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180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752
cemvp-pa@usace.army.mil 

Celebrate summer by practicing good water safety

Published May 22, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With warm weather nearly here, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, wants to remind everyone to be vigilant this summer while on the water.

Tragically, too many people die every year due to water-related accidents. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented if the individual would have worn a life jacket. In an effort to become more aware of these realities, the Corps of Engineers is urging people of all ages to practice water safety this summer. Before entering or being around water, keep these five things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about:

  • Expect the unexpectedAccidents can happen within seconds, so always be prepared for the unexpected. At any given time you could be ejected from a boat or accidentally fall into water. This can lead to panic, hyperventilation and sometimes vertigo that can cause you to drown;
  • Wear a life jacket – Wearing a life jacket helps ensure you survive an unexpected fall into the water. It can also save your life if you become exhausted due to fatigue, waves or current while swimming;
  • Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in natural waters such as a lake, river or pond is different from swimming in a pool;
  • Alcohol and water are a deadly combo – Alcohol and water are a deadly combination. If you plan on consuming alcohol, play it safe and avoid the water; and
  • Understand “boater’s hypnosis” – It is a condition brought on by the effects of sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion experienced during a day on the water. Boater’s hypnosis can slow your reaction time almost as much as if you were legally intoxicated. Adding alcohol to this condition intensifies the effects.

Finally, it’s been a long spring with historic lake and river levels across the Upper Midwest. These high waters continue to plague several locations across the region to include the Mississippi River. Caution is urged if boating on the river due to sediment shifting into areas that are normally much deeper. Please be aware that channel conditions and depths can change rapidly and without warning.

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Release no. 19-041