Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Be safe on the water this summer

With warm weather finally hanging around at least during the day, more of us will be heading to beaches and lakes to enjoy any manner of water sports.
Whether you fish, sail, dive, snorkel, paddle, or just float around on an air mattress, be careful and aware of what you are doing at all times.
If that means wearing a pfd because you or someone in your group can't swim, by all means put it on. As a matter of fact, get in the habit of wearing it anytime you are on the water.
Life jackets or pfd's these days are made to be worn comfortably. They are lightweight, go on and off easily, and most contain pouches for carrying all sorts of things you might find useful for a day on the water.
Non-swimmers should take extreme caution when approaching the water. Pay attention to those roped off areas. They are there for your protection. Go beyond them and you risk not returning.
Better still, remember the buddy system. Be sure to fish, boat or swim with someone else. Hopefully that someone has some swimming experience.
The water is a fun place but it's one place that needs to be taken seriously. There are no second chances. Once things start to go wrong they unravel like your mom's roll of yarn when the cat starts to play with it.
Consider taking swim lessons at a local school pool, lake or park. Be sure they are sanctioned and taught by qualified instructors.
Enjoy the water but be safe about it.

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