Coroner stresses water safety

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

In light of the recent drowning death in Hide-A-Way Lake earlier this month, Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage would like to issue a warning that he and other coroners in the state have noticed an increase in drowning deaths this year.

He said that during a recent discussion with other coroners, he was informed that there have been more than seven deaths associated with drowning in the southern part of Mississippi over the past few weeks.

Each summer, accidental deaths associated with drowning occur, many times the cause is due to a lack of precautions while using motorized watercraft or due to adults leaving children unattended in or near pools or other bodies of water, Turnage said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“If you’re swimming, don’t do it alone,” Turnage said.

While operating a motorized watercraft, he said the operator should be versed in how the craft functions and that everyone in the craft, the operator included, should be wearing a life jacket.

According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the leading cause of death for children. As such, it is suggested that every person in a family knows how to swim and supervises the younger members of the family while they are enjoying the water.

Knowing how to perform CPR can also save a life if the unthinkable occurs, the American Red Cross website states.

Building water competency is an ideal way to ensure each member of the family is safe while swimming. The American Red Cross breaks water competency into three parts, water smarts, swimming skills and helping others.

Water smarts includes knowing personal limitations in physical fitness, swimming with others present such as a lifeguard, wearing life jackets, being sober while in the water and identifying and avoiding hazards such as rip currents and wildlife. Swimming skills include being able to tread water for a minute, swim for 25 yards and being able to turn over and around while in the water. Helping others includes such skills as being trained to perform CPR, knowing the signs of someone who is drowning and knowing how to safely assist a person who may be drowning.

For more on water safety, visit the American Red Cross web page