Officials Stress Importance of Water Safety
FOX 47 News
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With the recent drowning at Duck Lake, officials are reminding everyone to keep water safety in mind.
The Michigan State Police Underwater Recovery Team is advising everyone to avoid dangerous situations by being informed and following a few safety tips.
"People don't know what their abilities are." As a member of the Michigan State Police Underwater Recovery Team, Trooper Brent Matsumoto has traveled across the state recovering the bodies of those who have died in water-related incidents, like drowning.
According to Trooper Matsumoto, there are a number of reasons why people drown, including not drinking enough water.
"They're not hydrated, they go swimming, they end up cramping up, which causes them to panic. Fatigue sets in and next thing you know they become a victim," he explains.
Matsumoto says there are many ways to avoid accidents. Things like swimmers knowing their own limits, wearing a lifejacket, and, if possible, swimming with a buddy.
"You really don't want to go swimming or boating by yourself. You want someone there with you in the event that if something does happen, you've got that extra person there to maybe operate the boat, somebody who can call for help," Matsumoto explains.
At Lake Lansing in Haslett, the Ingham County Marine Division comes out a couple times a week to keep an eye on swimmers and boaters.
According to Deputy Robert McElmurray, many problems occur when people drive a boat or swim under the influence.
"People that are intoxicated that don't really know what they're doing. The next thing you know, they're in over their head, their swim skills are not very good," he says.
To avoid issues at the beach park, lifeguards do safety checks every hour.
"We do that because we can't see everything that's going on. The water's dark and if someone goes missing, we need to know so that we can try tu find them."
In the end, the overall goal is keeping everyone safe.
Both of the police officers agree the most important precaution someone can take is just knowing your own limits. They said it's already been a busy summer with water-related incidents, and they hope people take their advice to heart..