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

Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752 


Corps of Engineers hopes everyone has a safe holiday, urges water safety

Published July 2, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is urging everyone to practice water safety during the upcoming holiday week.

With the recent rainstorms across the upper Midwest, river and lake levels are higher than normal. The increased flows have led to more debris in the water, which creates additional safety risks to boaters and swimmers. The Corps is recommending the following water safety tips for the Fourth of July week:

Boaters: Before Getting Underway: Know your boat and know the rules of the river or lake.

  • Take a safe boating course and check your boat for all required safety equipment;
  • Consider the size of the boat, the number of passengers and the amount of extra equipment you have;
  • If you will be in a power boat, verify the electrical system and fuel system is in good working order;
  • Wear your life jacket – don’t just carry it on board;
  • Leave alcohol behind to increase your safety and decrease your risk;
  • Check the weather forecast; and·        
  • File a float plan with a friend or family member.

Swimmers: Since most drowning victims had no intention of being in water and since most people drown within 10-30 feet of safety, it is important that you and your family learn to swim well. Please remember:

  • Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat;
  • Don’t overestimate your swimming skills; and
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas and never swim alone.

The nearly 700 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see


Release no. 13-084