ST. PAUL, Minn. – Before you head out for a day on or near the water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, encourages you to make sure you have life jackets for everyone and that you wear them.
In the last 10 years, 88 percent of all public water-related fatalities in Corps’ bodies of waterwere men and 68 percent were between the ages of 20 and 60, according to data compiled by the Corps’ National Operations Center for Water Safety. The center also reports that 84 percent of all public water-related fatalities involved people not wearing life jackets and found that the greatest number of water-related fatalities involved people swimming in areas not designated for swimming.
Swimming in natural waters is not the same as swimming in a pool. Regardless of how strong of a swimmer you are, you can get into trouble and be gone within seconds. It takes an average of 60 seconds for an adult to drown and just 20 seconds for a child to drown. Swimming ability also decreases with age.
Swim in designated areas which have been inspected to provide a safe swimming environment. At all Corps’ beaches, you swim at your own risk. Adults please watch your children. Most people drowned within 10 feet of safety. Many shorelines have drop offs and you can instantly be in water over your head or pulled under by the current.
Cold Water: Even a strong swimmer can drown from a fall into cold water, because it causes an involuntary gasp reflex. A life jacket can help save your life by allowing time for rescue. Some researchers believe cold water is anything lower than normal body temperature of 98.6°F.
Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns. Always wear the right size and type of life jacket to help ensure that you return home safely. Learn more at PleaseWearIt.com.
The nearly 600 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 2015 $100 million budget, nearly 1,600 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $155 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
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