Tips For Safely Enjoying Natural Bodies Of Water This
22 County Residents Drowned in Local Waters or Away From
Region Since 2001
PITTSBURGH - The Allegheny County Health Department is
advising adults and children to exercise caution when
swimming, boating, water skiing or rafting in any natural
bodies of water.
Since 2001 at least 22 County residents, 19 adults and 3
children, have drowned in local rivers, lakes and streams
or natural bodies of water outside the region. The
adults ranged from 18 to 56 and the kids included two
one-year-olds and an 11-year-old.
"Natural bodies of water often look inviting in the heat
of summer and offer a way to cool off or just have
fun. Take precautions to prevent these tragic and
accidental deaths," said Acting Health Director Dr.
Ronald E. Voorhees.
Health officials recommend these precautions to reduce
the risk of drowning:
Learn to swim and become as proficient as possible;
wear a life-jacket while boating, rafting, water skiing
Know your limits - drowning often happens when a person
tires while swimming or when a novice tries to keep up
with a stronger, more experienced swimmer.
Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs while swimming,
rafting, water skiing or operating any kind of
Remove contact lenses before entering the water to
reduce the risk of eye infection.
Watch children closely when they are in or near any
type of water; stay close enough to reach them
Never overload your boat; make sure it has the required
number of lifejackets and everyone on board is wearing
Turn off your boat's engine before picking up a water
skier or swimmer.
Never anchor from the stern or back of your boat -
always at the bow or front; stay with your boat on the
upstream side if it capsizes.
Look around. Avoid a collision by keeping a
proper lookout; stay away from dams and strainers or
trees in the water.