Experts Warn of Water Dangers

Published 06/06 2014 04:21PM

Updated 06/06 2014 09:34PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) In the past week, four more people have drowned in Missouri lakes and rivers. As another weekend is upon us, water experts are encouraging anyone who plans to spend time.

"A lot of times when we respond to those calls it's chaotic," said chief training officer for the St. Joseph fire department, Bill Lamar. 

It's always a tragedy when a person dies in a possible preventable drowning accident. It's not only hard on the families but also for first responders.

"The first thing we'll do is get the person out of the water as soon as we can and then start recitation on them if possible and then support the family obviously also," added Lamar.

With the start of many water-related summer activities already underway, experts are once again reminding people to be safe. This past week, four people drowned which has many concerned.

"Again, it goes back to the buddy system and wearing the life jackets be aware of your surroundings," added Monica Otrtman from the YMCA. She says even the best swimmer can get lost in a current and be taken under water fast.

Although some convince themselves they can do more in the water than they're capable of, this puts them at a higher risk of endangering themselves.

"Know your limits. In a swimming pool you know how far you can go before it's too far for you. Sometimes you don't get that with your lakes or your rivers," stated Ottman.

Lamar, who has 18 years of experience says the most difficult rescue missions are those that involve kids.

"For a moment turned away to do something and they turn back around and here their child or loved one is missing or under water those are probably the toughest ones," said Lamar.

They say the bottom line is don't ever underestimate the power of water.

About ten people die a day from unintentional drownings according to the CDC. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. To learn more, click here.

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