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Water safety tips: Experts say preparation is key

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The sun is out, and so are the boats. Firefighters from the Rockford Fire Department say water activities can turn tragic if you are not prepared.

“It is always recommended to wear a life jacket. Anyone under the age of 13 if they are in a boat, has to have a life jacket on at all times,” Jacob Bremer, rescue diver with R.F.D said.

Experts say panicking will make it harder for you to float if you are drowning, it’s best to take a deep breath.

“The more air you can get into your lungs the better. That will help keep you up, but also get you into a more nose up position where you can kind of lay on your back. You can get better flotation that way,” Bremer said. “If you notice someone is drowning there are ring buoys located along the river. You can just take it out and toss it to whoever needs help.”

“If you are in a smaller canoe or a kayak another thing you can do, especially if you are by yourself, is if you have your life jacket, you will also hold on to that and angle those toward shore downstream, and the current will hopefully push you right toward the shore,” Lieutenant Brett Beaman said.

Experts suggest never swimming or boating alone and not to drink while operating any motor vehicle.

“Yes you want to have a good time, but you also have to be smart about it,” Bremer said.

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