LOCAL NEWS

Officials remind swimmers to be cautious before stepping foot in water this summer

May 27, 2024, 6:10 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm

BOUNTIFUL With the unofficial start to the summer here, that means more Utah families will be going out for a swim.

But aquatics officials are urging anyone who gets in the pool or open water to be cautious.

“(Drowning) is not unique to just little kids that come and use the splash pad, but it also impacts youth and adults as well. It impacts those who don’t know how to swim and those who are experienced swimmers,” said Kathleen Steadman with the Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition.

The coalition, which is an extension of the Utah Recreation & Parks Association, focuses on teaching drowning prevention techniques across the state.

Their reminder comes not just as more pools are opening statewide, but after an unfortunate drowning during the holiday weekend.

With the unofficial start to the summer here, that means more Utah families will be going out for a swim. But aquatics officials are urging anyone who gets in the pool or open water to be cautious. (Brianna Chavez, KSL TV)

A tragic event

A 35-year-old man drowned while swimming in a pool at an apartment complex. Taylorsville police said a tenant saw him pulled him out and performed CPR, calling the incident a tragic accident.

“We sometimes get feel like we’re invincible. We feel like we are capable, or we overestimate our abilities in the water,” Steadman said.

Steadman said it’s important to remember several tactics as the summer months approach. The first, designate a “water watcher,” someone to keep an eye on things at all time. Steadman said while swimming in a pool or area with a lifeguard should always be a priority, they do not serve as babysitters. “There needs to be a parent in the water watching those children, really up to 8-year-sold they need to have someone in the water with them.”

Another reminder, swimming lessons. Steadman suggests checking with your local recreation center to see when swimming lessons for kids or adults are available.

It’s something Joe Mitchell made sure he was able to sign up his son Graham for before stepping in the pool at the South Davis Recreation Center on Monday.

“It’s a big part of what we like to do in the summertime. So we definitely wanted him to be equipped with skills and us to have some peace of mind.”

Another reminder, especially for adults, Steadman said is life vests are must in open water.

“Changes in weather, medical emergencies, an injury, all these things can turn a safe activity all of a sudden into a deadly one,” she said.

For more tips and information on the Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition, click here.

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Officials remind swimmers to be cautious before stepping foot in water this summer