Stay Safe at the Lake - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Stay Safe at the Lake

Daniel Otero, Health and Safety Director, Red Cross Amarillo Daniel Otero, Health and Safety Director, Red Cross Amarillo

We're still awaiting autopsy results on the drowning victim at Lake Greenbelt over the weekend. We do know that the victim was a twenty year old male. He is the third drowning death in the past two weeks.

This has many thinking safety first when boating...and that means wearing a life jacket. Putting on the life jacket is a start, but it's not enough. How you put it on could determine whether or not your trip to the lake becomes a close call incident or a drowning tragedy. Marta Brown has been working in search and rescue since the 1970s, so she's seen her fair share of tragedies. "More than once. More than I care to."

Brown says the number one safety rule to follow.... Always wear a life jacket. "We've never made a recovery where someone was wearing a life jacket. There's never been a drowning victim found with his life jacket on." That's due to one of two things... Either they made the mistake of not wearing one to begin with... Or they were wearing it wrong. "When you are knocked unconscious, your arms go up, and with the wind here in the Panhandle waves are created and if you're jacket is not tight enough, the waves will slowly work the life jacket off your body. "To make sure this doesn't happen to your child, buy this kind of life jacket. "One with an extra strap that goes around the whole body."

If you or your child falls overboard, it may be better to signal than swim. Daniel Otero, the Health and Safety Director at the Red Cross in Amarillo says "Never swim to shore. You might underestimate the length." The best way to tell if your life jacket fits properly... If it fits the same on land as it does in the water.

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    Three drownings at area lakes in the past two weeks... So many deaths in such a short period of time have many of you are taking extra steps to make sure they stay safe while boating.
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