By Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Specialist
Independence Day is right around the corner—and with it comes one of the busiest times of the year for recreation at the Corps’ Savannah River lakes. Thousands of people will visit our lakes during these next two weekends; and hopefully with sound judgment and preparation, each and every one of them will return home safely. Sadly, history demonstrates that is not always the case.
Many times when our park rangers respond to a drowning, they discover the victim was not wearing a life jacket. According to 2011 data from the U.S. Coast Guard, 84 percent of fatal boating accident victims were not reported as wearing a life jacket. The data also shows alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
If you go to the lake this holiday season, your first line of defense is to wear a properly-fitted, Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Don’t drink alcohol while boating. Take precautions to ensure you and your friends and family return home safely.
Please take a moment to watch this powerful video testimony from an incredible man, Craig Kesse, whose son and grandson drowned at a Corps lake in 2010. Kesse has devoted his life to spread the word about the importance of wearing a life jacket and being safe on the water.