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Water safety tips for a safe summer

Summer is the prime time for boating and going to the beach but those ventures could turn dangerous if you are not prepared.

This past weekend, ABC 57 reported two drowning incidents. One happened at Pine Lake in Laporte and the other at Silver Beach in St. Joseph.

The U.S. Coast Guard says anytime you are on the water, you should have a life jacket handy.

“You don’t have to have your life jacket on but you have to have it available for you if in an event of an emergency but it’s a bad time to actually put it on you and realize it doesn’t fit,” said Executive Petty Officer of Coast Guard Station St. Joseph Lazaro Lopez. 

Life jackets are not a one-size fits all. They are determined by weight. “Everyone thinks ‘hey I got a life jacket I’m good to go’, but you get in the water, your body weight starts to sink down and that life jacket, you pop right on out," Lopez added.

For more information on proper fit for life jackets, click here.

When out in the water, you could get caught in a rip current. “The only thing we can recommend is swim parallel. If you find yourself struggling it’s like you’re on a treadmill, you’re struggling and not going anyway," he said.

The Coast Guard has smart phone application people can use to find current safety requirements, make a float plan, or even request emergency assistance.

“They did right this time by making a good application that’s user friendly. It doesn’t matter the age group, everyone understands it,” said Lopez.

The app is available for iPhone and in the Google Play store.

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