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Fire officials offering lake safety tips to help prevent tragedy

Posted at 2:55 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 18:24:20-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With summer heating up here in the Bluegrass, first responders are reminding people to stay safe on the water.

Search and rescue officials continue to look for a Madison County football player who went missing on Lake Herrington, while the body of a 20-year-old man was recovered at Lake Campton in Wolfe County less than a week ago.

Fire officials are offering some tips to help prevent tragedy. They tell us the most important thing is for everyone to wear a life jacket - especially children.

"The saying goes that life jackets float but kids don't. So life jackets are non-negotiable any time you go in the lake. Just like the ocean there can be under currents and things like that," said Lexington Fire Captain Jessica Bowman.

With most pools still closed due to COVID-19, many are turning to freshwater to get their summer fix.

Fire officials say one rule of thumb is to never swim alone.

"Until you know how deep the water is or if there are any under water obstructions that you can't see, go feet first. For me and my family that's a rule in general, feet first in the lake," said Bowman.

Bowman also warns not to mix alcohol and boating or swimming.

Fire officials say each year the department receives possible drowning calls. So far this summer they've been called to assist other counties twice, and it's important everyone takes precautions.

"It's something that happens quietly, it's something that happens quickly and it's something that can happen to any of us," said Bowman.

Fire officials say you should also make sure to check the weather before you head out.

Also, avoid going in a river or creek if it's flooded or rained a lot recently. That can increase the current and there may be debris in the water that can be dangerous.