Water Safety Urged After 12 Oklahoma Drowning Deaths

Saturday, July 21st 2018, 7:10 pm
By: News On 6

Summer is here, making pools, beaches, and lakes a great way to stay cool. But park rangers say because of the risks on the water, they're encouraging everyone to take precautions.

"We make sure they have their life jackets on at all times, and even when the adults go out on the ski's we make sure we're tightened up." said Parent Susie O'steen.

Ranger Matthew Nolen says the Corps of Engineers is encouraging the use of life jackets following the drowning deaths of 12 people in Oklahoma since May. Just today, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a man nearly drowned at Broken Bow Lake, because he wasn't wearing a life jacket. The most recent drowning happened this past week at Fort Supply Lake.

"We have these life jacket loaner boards at all of our campgrounds near our boat ramps and beaches to provide a life jacket if they don't have one," said Nolen

07/18/2018 Related Story: 22-Year-Old Drowns At Fort Supply Lake In Woodward County

Nolen says most drowning victims are not swimmers and fall into the water unexpectedly from a boat or a dock. Nolen says consistent life jacket use could reduce drownings by 90 percent.

"We've had 12 drownings so far in our district this year which is 12 too many. So, we are encouraging everyone to wear their life jacket regardless of age or ability. We have laws for children 12 and under to wear their life jackets but we really encourage those parents to wear those life jackets as well," said Nolen.

Nolen says If you see a person drowning, reach for them from land or throw them a flotation device.