|Updated: 7/05/2012 5:37 pm
||Published: 7/05/2012 4:02 pm
Six drownings in recent weeks have area lake rangers asking vital questions to keep you safe.
Can you tread water for one minute? Can you swim at least 55 yards and do you know how to swim to survive are just a few questions they want answers to.
If the answer is no, you will be given information on free and reduced-priced swim lessons in your area.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the majority of people who drown are between the ages of 17 and 35. That’s why it’s so important to always wear a life jacket when you’re in or near the water.
Park Ranger, Travis Miller knows just how dangerous the water can be.
"Distance is pretty deceptive out on the lake. What looks like a short distance can end up being a lot further than you think,” says Miller.
Because of the high number of recent drownings in lakes, pools and swimming holes, he and other rangers are doing boat and beach checks to make sure people know how to swim.
“People really don't swim well, so we are trying to encourage people to go out and take swim lessons and learn how to tread water,” he says.
FOX23 caught up with Rick Watkins and his family as they spent the day swimming and fishing. We noticed all three adults inside the boat were not wearing life jackets so we asked them why.
"I’m safe in the boat here. I'm not going to jump out head first or in deep water,” says Watkins.
So, we then asked him if he was a good swimmer.
“No I'm not,” he says sheepishly.
Rangers say swimming well is important because most people who drown never intended on going in the water in the first place.
As our visit was wrapping up, Rick came to the realization that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
"It's a pretty large boat but maybe I should have a life jacket on,” he says.
Statistics show it only takes 60 seconds or less for an adult to drown and only 20 seconds for a child to drown.