Corps Urges Water Safety during Fourth of July Holiday

Published July 2, 2013

NEW ORLEANS – Independence Day is one of the busiest holidays at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water-based recreation sites. Each year an estimated 400 million individuals visit one of our 456 resource development projects including the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway, one of the most heavily used recreational areas for the New Orleans District Corps of Engineers.  

Water safety is a top priority for the New Orleans District. Visitors are encouraged to have fun, be safe and practice these five safety tips this Fourth of July:

1.      Wear a life jacket.
Accidents happen, even to responsible boaters. A life jacket can provide time for rescue. Statistics show that 90 percent of those who drown at Corps lakes and waterways would have survived if they had worn a life jacket. Drowning is the nation’s second leading cause of accidental death.

2.      Alcohol and water don’t mix.
More than half of all drowning deaths are related to alcohol consumption.

3.      Watch your children – be a “Water Watcher.”
When on or near the water watch your children. Drowning happens quickly and quietly and a child can drown in 20 seconds. A drowning victim’s head will be back and they will be gasping for air, they will not be yelling. Watch closely.

4.      Know your limits.
Swim in designated areas and wear a life jacket. Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool. Conditions can change quickly in open water and a swimmer can tire quickly and get into trouble. A life jacket will help conserve energy and provide flotation.

5.      Safe boating – avoid exhaust fumes around boats.
Exhaust fumes can accumulate anywhere in or around boats regardless of what type of boat. Do not let friends swim under or around the boarding platform where fumes can accumulate. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include eye irritation, headache, nausea, weakness and dizziness. Maintain a fresh circulation of air through and around your boat at all times and install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors on your boat.

And please remember to always Maintain Vigilance!”

Providing water safety and safe recreational environments are key missions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For more information, go to the New Orleans District’s Recreation website, , and click on the water safety information link.

Rachel Rodi
After Hours

Release no. 13-037