Memorial Day is just around the corner! That means school’s out, weekend barbecues, and swimming in the lake. Sure you may have the necessary life jackets but what of that water around the docks and boats? Follow these 5 tips and you bet your Memorial Day weekend lake trip and lake swimming for the whole summer will be safe and fun.
Whether natural or man-made, there may be hidden underwater dangers in your local lake. If you aren’t familiar with the area, be sure to ask where the safest place to swim is located. Always follow the rules and check out these lake swimming safety tips.
Lake Safety #5: Don’t Drink the Water
There may be a plethora of microorganisms just waiting to take up house in your tummy so avoid ingesting the water. Untreated freshwater can contain some particularly nasty microbes, including the deadly “brain-eating” amoeba Naegleria fowleri. More than just drinking avoid the water getting to you through your nose too.
Every year a handful of Americans get one of these killers lodged deep in their sinuses by plunging into a water hole without plugging their noses first. The amoeba infects the brain by working its way up from the nasal passages and there’s not a lot doctors can do about it. This is the worst but the least is just nasty organisms no one wants in their bodies.
Lake Safety #4: Olympic Swimmers Need a Life Jacket
That’s right, even Olympic level swimmers can’t stop an under toe from pulling them under a rock or underwater cliff. A life jacket keeps you afloat and worst case, will pop you back up above the water if you get forced down for any reason. Often, in a lake, you have to wait for a boat to pick you up and after a long day treading water it can get the best of any athlete.
Lake Safety #3: Avoid Boat Exhaust Area When Swimming
If you’re swimming around a boat, stay away from the motor exhaust. Carbon monoxide fumes can kill as you slip into the water if you inhale those fumes that hover right above the surface of the water.
Lake Safety #2: Never Swim Alone
In the fun and excited time on the water it’s easy to lose track of all the swimmers. Make the buddy system the standard because realizing your buddy is nowhere to be seen in a minute or two vs five minutes later can be the difference between life and death.
Lake Safety #1: Think Before You Jump
And the #1 lake swimming safety tip is to #ThinkBeforeYouJump. That’s right, the days of blindly running & jumping into the water off of the boat or from the dock is fine for the movies, but not loved ones. Before you take that running leap have someone in the water checking for depth & debris. Take a look so you’re footing is sure because slipping into the water does not end well.
Lastly, check the water by dipping a foot or hand in. If the dock is lit or a boat is nearby it’s possible electricity could be in the water. Electric shock drowning, also known as ESD, happens to many every year and that’s something you can’t get out of once you’re in the water.