GRDA Says Tragedies On Water Have Spiked In 2016 Summer

Saturday, July 23rd 2016, 8:45 pm
By: News On 6

EMSA issued a medical heat alert after it had to respond to five heat-related calls.

The hot weather has people flocking to open water to cool off and have fun this summer. 

But already, it’s been one of the more tragic years for GRDA. 

GRDA is urging caution and awareness for those headed to the water. After eight people have already drowned while on Lake Hudson, Grand Lake and the Illinois River this year.

For some, Blue Sky, hot temps and open water is what they've been waiting for.

"Get out and have a good time," Ed Broaddick said.

Even the dogs and turtles can't help but get in.

But for GRDA, it's been a tragically busy year.

"We are definitely having more water related incidents than we normally have,” Broaddick said.

On Friday, GRDA responded to its eighth drowning incident of the year.

"Between Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the Illinois River, this is the eighth drowning our guys have had to deal with this summer,” GRDA spokesperson Justin Alberty said.

So even someone like professional fisherman Broaddick is headed out with safety on his mind.

"Just lots of water and make sure you got your life jackets,” Broaddick said.

Dehydration and water safety also on the mind of new boat owner Joel Wood.

"It was nice at first, got a little hot in the afternoon,” Wood said.

GRDA says not drinking enough water, plus extreme heat can lead to other issues.

"You're hot, you may have not been hydrated properly,” Edwards said.

Like cramping up when you jump in.

"And you step off into that cold water, it's very easy for you to cramp up,” Edwards said.

Creating the potential for a dangerous situation.

"And when you cramp up, it's going to be very difficult for you to swim, tread water," Edwards said.

That's why Woods and others head to the water with caution.

"Just take it easy, relax and try not to do everything at once,” Woods said.

Drinking plenty of water, wearing a life jacket, and watching out for others - the three things you can't forget when you head to the water.

"Always be aware, the biggest thing is to be aware,” Woods said.

"Definitely need to pay attention, especially when little kids are involved,” Broaddick said.