By Airman 1st Class Cliffton Dolezal
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Summer is here, and you know what that means? It’s time to throw on your swimsuit, then grab a towel, sunblock, and your favorite pair of shades, and hit the pool.
Swimming is a great way to relax, workout or hang out with your friends, but it has safety risks like many other enjoyable outdoor activities. According to the 19th Airlift Wing grounds safety office, nearly every year the Air Force loses someone due to a swimming accident.
“The Air Force has already lost two of its Airmen this fiscal year alone,” said Rick Myers the 19th Airlift Wing ground safety manager.
The American Red Cross recently conducted a survey that had some shocking results. Almost half of the adults surveyed on water safety said that they’ve had an experience where they nearly drowned, and one in four know someone who has drowned.
With many Airmen and families planning to be in, on or near the water this summer, it is important to follow the basics of water safety. This includes maintaining constant supervision of children and receive proper swimming techniques.
Here are additional tips that will help you stay safe this summer:
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards
Always swim with a wingman and never alone
Ensure that everyone in your group has learned to swim
Never leave a child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life with another; teach them to always ask permission to go near water
Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone
For more information about swimming safety, Airmen should call the 19th Airlift Wing ground safety office at 501-987-3290.