Be Safe Around The Water This Summer

Summer on Cape Cod means time spent at the beach, in pools and on the water. We all have fond memories of swimming and boating.  But, it’s important to remember, spending time here on the Cape, we need to respect the dangers that come with life along the shore.

According to the CDC, “Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States”.

It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs, and even buckets.

Play it safe this summer and review these helpful reminders from the Red Cross:

  • Know your limitations, including physical fitness, medical conditions.
  • Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present.
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of swimming skill.
  • Swim sober.
  • Understand the dangers of hyperventilation and hypoxic blackout.
  • Know how to call for help.

Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as:

  • Ocean rip currents.
  • Water temperature.
  • Shallow or unclear water.
  • Underwater hazards, such as vegetation and animals.

Lifeguard Chair at sunset on West Dennis Beach in Cape Cod

It’s also important to know what to do in an emergency:

  • If a child is missing, check the water first
  • Alert the lifeguard, if one is present.
  • Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help.
  • Ask someone to call emergency medical services (EMS). If alone, give 2 minutes of care, then call EMS.
  • Begin rescue breathing and CPR.

If you, or someone in your family plans on being around the water this summer, and you don’t know how to swim, it’s definitely worth it to take one of the many classes offered by our local Red Cross.

For more information, please visit 

Information provided by The American Red Cross and Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. 

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
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