NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This week was deadly in waters across North Texas. Three people drowned and another nearly drowned in lakes and swimming pools.
Rescue crews at Lake Grapevine were busy. A team with the fire department were first called to Grapevine Lake on Saturday, that’s when a man, not wearing a life jacket, went into the water from a pontoon boat. The search resumed Sunday with the help of the Texas Game Warden and the body, later identified as 38-year-old Venkatramreddy Velma, was recovered in the afternoon.
A rescue call near Rockledge Park came as teams were still searching for Saturday’s missing boater. It took about 20 minutes for emergency crews to find the man there, who also wasn’t wearing a life jacket, and get him out of the water. The 25-year-old was transported to a hospital in critical condition.
The two incidents in Grapevine weren’t the only tragedies over the last seven days. On Sunday, a 4-year-old boy in Arlington drowned in his family’s backyard swimming pool and a man drowned in a private lake in Denton County on Thursday.
As the weather heats up more and more people will head to the water to cool off, but according ot the American Red Cross more than 200 children drown in backyard pools each year.
When it comes to swimming pool safety here are a few tips from the experts –
- Make sure everyone going in the water knows how to swim.
- Actively supervise children at all times.
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers.
- Keep toys away from the pool when no one is swimming.
- Keep everyone, especially children, away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
- No diving in a pool that is not deep enough.
- Don’t allow running on the pool deck.
- Empty blowup pools after each use.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
While most children between one- and four-years-old drown in home swimming pools, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say drownings among people 15 years and older mostly happen around natural bodies of water.
“Most of the time it’s a lot of people that just aren’t thinking about the repercussions that can come from not taking a few simple steps to keep themselves and their families safe,” said Krystal Smith, with the American Red Cross.
The same safety rules for pools generally apply when swimming in natural bodies of water, but officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also suggest you –
- Wear a life jacket (even if you know how to swim).
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Stay hydrated.
- Know your swimming skills and don’t rely on flotation devices.
- Swim in designated swimming areas.
- If you find yourself in a current, do not swim against it. Instead, swim with it until conditions calm.
- If you notice the water rising, turning muddy or changing, leave the area immediately.
Starting Memorial Day Weekend the Grapevine Fire Department will have life jackets available for loan at the lake.
When asked Captain Cliff Swofford, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said in his 21 years responding to drowning calls, he’s never pulled a drowning victim out of the water who was wearing a life jacket.