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Water safety essential for outdoor activities

Posted at 9:24 AM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 10:24:01-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With the warmer weather heating up, more and more people will be hitting the waterways. This also brings about more chances of accidental drownings.

Ten people each day die from drownings, so taking the proper precautions is essential for staying safe.

Kayaking, swimming and boating are just a few of the water activities that if precautions aren't taken can lead drowning.

Waterways that look safe on the surface can be very deceptive.

"Most rivers have a mud bottom or rock bottom," explained Lt. Dennis Svoboda with the Sarpy County Sheriff's Department. "This is a sand bottom, and with the flow of the river, it is changing all the time. If it was six inches deep yesterday, it may be a few feet deep today."

Experts with the CDC say it is best if anyone out in the water knows how to swim, and everyone, whether they can swim or not should, wear a life jacket.

Even those who often enjoy the water say they are always keeping an eye out.

"You see I am wet, I went under once," said kayaker James Gregory.

"The footing is not the greatest," said kayaker Rick Moeller. The sand bars, if you walk up to them, you just start to sink."

"You gotta feel your way through," Gregory said.

"The current is moving pretty fast, and you have a lot of undertows,"Moeller said.

One in five people who die from drownings are children 14 and younger.

When you are out on the water with kids, there should be at least one designated adult there just to watch the kids.

They should be within what is called touch supervision, always close by, and remember to always check water and weather conditions before heading out.