The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 11, 2013

Know rules around water this summer


DANVILLE — A sad story came out of northern Indiana this week, one repeated far too often during summer’s hot days.

An Ohio man dove headfirst off a boat in Big Chapman Lake and hit his head on a shallow sandbar.

Police said the 26-year-old man died Monday as a result of his injuries.

Although the cool water — in lakes, ponds, rivers and backyard pools — can be so inviting as the temperature climbs, safety must be the first consideration.

Those who boat on Lake Vermilion know area law enforcement officers check to be sure those operating boats are not under the influence of alcohol and keep a close eye on things to help ensure everyone’s safety.

While some might consider such scrutiny a hassle, conservation and police officers want to help prevent accidents rather than respond to them.

Parents also must play a proactive role when their families head out for fun in the water. Children should never be left without supervision, and no one of any age should swim alone.

Parents can teach their children the safety rules — such as always wearing a life jacket if they are in a boat — and be sure they are followed.

One good way to do that is to set an example by following the rules themselves.

It takes only seconds for a fun-filled day around the water to become a tragedy.

Know and follow safety rules area the areas lakes, rivers, ponds and pools. It’s the best way to stay cool when the weather turns hot.