USACE encourages lake visitors to be safe on the water during Labor Day holiday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, which manages 18 lakes throughout Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, is encouraging everyone to not be a statistic this Labor Day weekend and to wear a life jacket while in, on, or around the water.

“Since March of this year, eight water-related fatalities have occurred at our lakes,” said Kyle Ruona, Kansas City District public safety program manager. “None of these individuals were wearing a life jacket.”

The Kansas City District urges visitors to be prepared, understand the importance of water safety and to be alert to expect the unexpected.

“Whether kayaking, swimming or fishing, we want all our visitors to exercise good judgment when on or around the water,” said Angelia Lentz, Tuttle Creek Lake natural resource specialist. “We encourage everyone to wear a life jacket and to remember that boating and alcohol are a bad combination. We want all our visitors to have a great time, but the most important thing is their safety.”

Half the fatalities this year reportedly resulted from individuals swimming beyond their personal limits. Others were from falling from a vessel.

“Swimming in a lake or river is more difficult than a swimming pool,” said Ruona. “Swimming abilities may be impacted due to waves, current and variable depth. Even the best swimmers can misjudge their skills and abilities while swimming in a lake or river. Reverse the risk by challenging yourself and your friends to wear a life jacket.”

“It’s important to help and encourage others, of all ages, to learn swimming and water safety skills,” said Bradly Wright, Harry S. Truman Lake natural resource management specialist. “Don’t wait for an emergency to happen, prevent it, life jackets save lives.”

When around the water always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly. For more water safety information visit www.pleasewearit.com. Play it safe this holiday weekend.

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