Officials stress swimming safety tips to avoid drownings

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While Marylanders seek relief from the summer heat in the water, officials warn of how danger can quickly arise.The beach at Sandy Point State Park has already hit capacity six times this summer, compared to three times last season. It’s busy, which is all the more reason to review safety measures with your family, especially children, before diving into the water.”My guys, I don’t really let them go in the water past by their ankles unless they have a life vest on,” beachgoer Sarah Hughs said.”We always keep one of us (present). Right now, my wife’s getting food. We sort of switch depending upon how tired we are,” said beachgoer Brett Allen.Drowning rates have increased nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; young children are most at risk.”Don’t assume that the lifeguard is always keeping an eye on them. The lifeguards are keeping an eye on the water in general. They’re not always going to have an eye on your kids,” Sandy Point State Park Ranger Will Steckman said.Drownings can happen anywhere and to anyone. On Saturday, a man who drowned was among three people who disappeared while swimming in the Patapsco River off Port Covington Drive in Baltimore City.Park rangers say to always make a plan in case you get separated from your group, take swimming lessons before testing the waters and wear a life jacket.”As a grandma, I come along to make sure there’s enough hands (and that) they have their water jackets on until they’re good swimmers,” beachgoer Laura Oneto said.Sandy Point lifeguards rescued 13 people last summer. They want to keep that number down and people safe this season.”I would utilize the guarded areas. If we have guards, it’s always safest to go where they are. Know your limits. Don’t try to go too far out if you’re not confident. Never swim alone,” Steckman said.Visitors to the beach should expect crowds, especially on weekends. Lifeguards are on duty at South Beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While Marylanders seek relief from the summer heat in the water, officials warn of how danger can quickly arise.

The beach at Sandy Point State Park has already hit capacity six times this summer, compared to three times last season. It’s busy, which is all the more reason to review safety measures with your family, especially children, before diving into the water.

“My guys, I don’t really let them go in the water past by their ankles unless they have a life vest on,” beachgoer Sarah Hughs said.

“We always keep one of us (present). Right now, my wife’s getting food. We sort of switch depending upon how tired we are,” said beachgoer Brett Allen.

Drowning rates have increased nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; young children are most at risk.

“Don’t assume that the lifeguard is always keeping an eye on them. The lifeguards are keeping an eye on the water in general. They’re not always going to have an eye on your kids,” Sandy Point State Park Ranger Will Steckman said.

Drownings can happen anywhere and to anyone. On Saturday, a man who drowned was among three people who disappeared while swimming in the Patapsco River off Port Covington Drive in Baltimore City.

Park rangers say to always make a plan in case you get separated from your group, take swimming lessons before testing the waters and wear a life jacket.

“As a grandma, I come along to make sure there’s enough hands (and that) they have their water jackets on until they’re good swimmers,” beachgoer Laura Oneto said.

beach lifeguard at Sandy Point State Park

WBAL

Sandy Point lifeguards rescued 13 people last summer. They want to keep that number down and people safe this season.

Sandy Point lifeguards rescued 13 people last summer. They want to keep that number down and people safe this season.

“I would utilize the guarded areas. If we have guards, it’s always safest to go where they are. Know your limits. Don’t try to go too far out if you’re not confident. Never swim alone,” Steckman said.

Visitors to the beach should expect crowds, especially on weekends. Lifeguards are on duty at South Beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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