- Always wear a life jacket. Life jackets are available at many Snohomish County parks.
- Know your limits. Don’t attempt a section of the water beyond your skill level.
- Expect the unexpected. Currents in rivers change every season; currents in lakes change throughout the day. Debris moves around creating new snags and strainers. Be aware of drop-offs at the water’s edge.
- Don’t boat or swim under the influence. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or marijuana is illegal and puts you and others on the waterways at risk. Swimming under the influence is incredibly dangerous.
- Don’t dive in. Two-thirds of catastrophic neck injuries occur in open water and the sea.
- Beach logs, river banks and rocks near the shore are usually slippery. A fall can knock you unconscious and prevent you from being able to save yourself.
- Consider bringing a whistle. If you are in trouble, it could help alert nearby people.
- Keep kids within arm’s reach. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.
“We encourage people to have fun but to pay extra attention to others on the water and as always, wear your life jacket, and know and follow the boating laws,” said Lt. Rodney Rochon, who leads the Sheriff’s Office Marine Service Unit.
For child safety and life jacket information (including a 25 percent coupon for any life jacket at participating Big 5 Sports locations), go to www.snosafekids.org
For detailed information on life jackets and other requirements, download or view the Washington State Parks Adventures in Boating Handbook at www.boat-ed.com/washington/