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Be safe on the waterway

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POSTED: June 13, 2007 5:02 a.m.
The thought of tragedy or death probably never enters the minds of most swimmers and boaters out enjoying a day of fun on the water — perhaps, it should.  
Last year, 59 people drowned and 19 others died in boating related incidents in Georgia.  The Georgia Department Of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division encourages everyone to practice safety at all times when in and around the water.
 The U.S. Coast Guard reports that out of a nationwide total of 491 boaters who drowned in 2005, 87 percent of them were not wearing a life jacket. Always remember — it won't work if you don't wear it!
 Some tips for both boating and water safety include:
• Take a boating safety course and/or a swimming course.
• Never swim alone. If you are a marginal swimmer, wear a flotation device.
• Don’t mix alcohol or drugs with boating or swimming.
• Never let children swim or boat unsupervised. Remember, children under the age of 10 must wear a life jacket while on a moving boat.
• Keep life jackets accessible — never make someone feel uncomfortable if they choose to wear a life jacket.
• Don’t overdo boating and water fun.  Don't swim when you are too tired, too cold or too far from safety.
 

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