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Push for new life-jacket requirement in King County, Washington

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Push for new life-jacket requirement in King County, Washington
June 04, 2011 09:29AM
June 3, 2011 at 9:15 PM
Danger heats up on the rivers
By Emily Heffter

Seattle Times staff reporter

Unusually heavy snowpack and winter floods that moved logs around prompted King County Executive Dow Constantine to push for a new life-jacket requirement on the county's rivers.

June always brings a spike in drownings. As people head out to enjoy what is forecast to be a sunny weekend, law-enforcement and health officials are bracing for the worst.

"We get a hot weekend like this, and the best advice is, you know, to stay out of the rivers," said Tony Gomez, manager of violence- and injury-prevention for Public Health — Seattle & King County, "because they're just so cold and fast, deep and dangerous. I mean, they're deadly."

Constantine wants an $86 fine for swimmers, boaters and floaters without life vests on King County portions of the Snoqualmie, Tolt, Cedar, Green, White, Raging and Skykomish rivers. Constantine compared life jackets to bicycle helmets and seat belts, yet the only life-jacket requirement now is that children under 12 wear them in small boats


Water-safety tips

DROWNING is the second-leading cause of death for children under 14, but more than half of last year's drownings were adults between 25 and 64.
• Wear a life jacket when swimming or boating in open water where a lifeguard is not present.

• Ensure your whole family knows how to swim.

• Choose swimming areas where lifeguards are present.

• Always provide supervision for children when they are in or near water.

Low-cost life jackets

Borrow: There are several places to borrow a life jacket, including some local beaches. For a list, go to www.boatus.com.

Buy: Discounted, custom-fitted life jackets are for sale outside Evans Pool at 7201 E. Green Lake Drive N., June 18, July 16, Aug. 20 and Sept. 17 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They are $20 for kids up to 90 pounds and $30 for teens and adults.

Source: Public Health — Seattle & King County

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015228939_vests04m.html
avatar Re: Push for new life-jacket requirement in King County, Washington
June 04, 2011 03:14PM
I'd rather not swim at all than swim in a life jacket. While boating, kayaking, etc, on the other hand, I always wear one. Recreational swimming just isn't very fun in a jacket.
Re: Push for new life-jacket requirement in King County, Washington
June 04, 2011 11:04PM
Someone should invent a miniature water safety device that can inflate into a life vest in an emergency.

They take water safety seriously in Hawaii, yet 50-60 drown every year. Two stories carried in today's Hawaii newspaper:


Boy, 3, dies in Ohio river; search for brother off
June 4, 2011, 10:04 p.m. EDT
Associated Press

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have called off the search for a 2-year-old boy who went missing at an Ohio river in which his 3-year-old half-brother drowned.
The boys' family is from Zanesville and had been camping near a dam at Muskingum River State Park, about 50 miles east of Columbus.

Muskingum County officials say the family awoke Saturday morning and realized 2-year-old Anthony Joseph Tullius and 3-year-old Ayden Leroy Cecil were gone. Searchers found the older boy's body hours later about a mile south of the spillway at the dam.

Sheriff's Capt. Jeff LeCocq tells The Columbus Dispatch newspaper police dogs tracked the scent of both boys to the water's edge. Searchers used boats and planes to look for the missing toddler in the river but stopped Saturday night when the water became dangerous.


2 SC boys die after being pulled from pond
The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 8:49 p.m.

ST. STEPHEN, S.C. - Two South Carolina boys died this weekend after one tried to rescue the other in a St. Stephen pond and they both went under water.
Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury told The Associated Press that emergency responders were called to the pond at 5:17 p.m. Friday and found the 12-year-old boys underwater. The pond is about 11 feet deep. Rescuers pulled the boys out of the water, administered CPR and transported them to area hospitals. Salisbury said Adonous Green died of drowning Friday at Moncks Corner Medical Center. Gary Adams, who had attempted to save Adonous, died Saturday afternoon at Medical University Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit from drowning complications.
"It was a very sad situation," he said.

Salisbury said Adonous and another child had left home at about 5 p.m. to walk a dog. The dog went into the pond, and Adonous went in after it but "got in trouble," the coroner said. The second child extended a stick to try to rescue him, to no avail, and went and got Gary to help. Gary went into the chilly water to rescue Adonous and they "both got in trouble," Salisbury said.
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