SPRINGFIELD, Mass (Mass) – The State Police’s Underwater Recovery Unit is urging local residents to make safety a top priority when swimming, boating, or fishing.
Since June 1, 18 people have drowned. Close to thirty since the beginning of the year, according to State Police.
To prevent these deaths, Sergeant Blake Gilmore said you need to wear a life jacket during water activities like swimming and boating. He also urges you to stay away from restricted areas. Also, call local authorities and ask whether the water is safe before heading to a lake or river.
“People can get caught in the currents and not be able to get out, especially if they haven’t been trained in swimming and I think that’s one of the things we want to bring out today too, is the fact we want people to start thinking about swimming lessons,” said Sergeant Gilmore.
Swimming lessons are offered at Springfield and Agawam’s public pools. Knowing how to swim can make the difference between life and death for your child.
State police say alcohol increases your chance of having an accident or drowning. Alcohol slows your reflexes, making it a risky choice for water activities.