Provoked by the tragic losses they faced in Beaufort County waters last summer, Beaufort County Fire Chiefs are urging citizens to take extra precautions this year when around waterways.
Water – whether in a pool, on a beach, or in the tub – can be extremely dangerous, and can cause serious injury or death within seconds. Last year’s tragedy’s have firefighters anxious about this approaching beach season.
“The biggest thing we want people to realize, especially those watching young children, is that water can be a silent killer,” stated Chief Harry Rountree, president of the Beaufort County Fire Chief’s Association. “People can slip below the surface without making a sound.”
County Fire Chief’s offer these suggestions to make this summer a safe and enjoyable one:
- Make sure an adult is properly supervising children around water. Give that adult an item like a set of keys to remind them they are the one responsible for watching the children
- Take advantage of swim lessons offered at local pools to ensure children are confident and capable when around water – teach them young
- Don’t fight riptides. If you find yourself being taken off shore by currents go with current at an angle to the beach until you’re out
- Stay away from peers and jetties that cause unpredictable currents and under- toes
- Ensure pools are properly fenced and secured to prevent access by curious children
- Make sure all children use USCG approved flotation devices and that such devices fit properly. Be especially careful of “water wing” flotation devices that may submerge and hold a child underwater should one of the arm floats come off
- Always swim in pairs
- Establish family rules as to where it is safe to swim and for how long – vigorously enforce those rules