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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
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332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 290-5807
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Corps of Engineers urges water safety this holiday weekend

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published July 1, 2021
Updated: July 1, 2021

As the steward of many public waters within the Upper Midwest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, wants to remind everyone about the importance of practicing safe, responsible and thoughtful activities in and around the water this 4th of July weekend.

Tragically, too many people lose their lives each year in water-related accidents. People of all ages are encouraged to practice water safety this weekend and throughout the entire year. Before entering or being around the water, keep these five things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about:

  • Expect the unexpected – Accidents can happen within seconds, so be prepared;
  • Wear a life jacket – By providing time to be rescued, it will help you survive an unexpected fall into the water. It can also save your life if you become exhausted due to fatigue, waves or current;
  • Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in lakes and rivers is different from swimming in a pool, and your swimming ability decreases with age. It is never too late to take swimming lessons and learn to swim well;
  • Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol induces an inner ear condition known as caloric labyrinthitis that can lead to disorientation when underwater; 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 of boating. Boater’s hypnosis can slow your reaction time almost as much as if you were intoxicated. Adding alcohol to this condition intensifies the effects.

If you plan to go boating on the Mississippi River, please avoid the restricted areas near our locks and dams. The area 600 feet upstream and 150 feet down stream of these structures is extremely dangerous. For more information about safely boating through a lock and dam, go here:


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Public Affairs

Release no. 21-053