Safety Tips On The Water
It's hot, and it's no surprise to find people floating down the Yakima River this afternoon; however, those in the water without life jackets may be risking their lives for a chance to cool off.
Carson Petrea says he and his friends heard of the drownings at Rimrock Lake a few days ago, and have become more aware of the dangers these waters can pose.
"We're not drinking alcohol, we're just having fun, tying up the rafts, bringing oars with us," said Petrea, "We've got a life jacket in there, because one of our people can't really swim."
The Yakima Sheriff's Office wants to remind people of the safety measures people can take to help prevent a preventable drowning.
The tips are very simple; a life jacket for anyone without swimming training, wet suits to help fight the cold temperatures of the water, and the buddy system; keeping a trained and equipped friend nearby in case you are unable to swim back to shore.
In addition all vessels; boats, jet-skis; are required by law to have at least one personal floatation device each person on board.
The Sheriff Department's rescue teams says it sees up to 3 drownings per year, and in some cases, up to 5 or 6.
A lot of those drownings result not only from those being unprepared, but also overconfident.
"A lot of times ego kicks in as well, where people don't want to admit to their friends that they're not really comfortable in the water that theyr'e going to go swimming in," said Lt. Brian Winter, "It's not worth your life."
"We really want to be safe, we really want to come home at the end of the day and be with our families," said Petrea, "It's just something we want to do, and be safe and have fun."