Be Vigilant and Be Safe in Swimming Holes
Vermont’s lakes and rivers provide many opportunities to cool off and enjoy swimming among the state’s natural beauty. As warm weather returns this weekend it’s likely many people will venture out into the water.
It’s important to remember that even a seemingly benign swimming hole can present hazards. The conditions of many familiar spots on rivers are different from past years, so it’s important to be cautious.
“Heavy rain this summer has caused our waterways to rise and currents to increase, so it’s even more important for all to be alert and careful as they enjoy our lakes, ponds and rivers this summer,” Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson said. “Swimming accidents can occur even when precautions are taken, so we urge Vermonters, and our visitors, to exercise caution, and not take anything for granted when venturing into or near the water.”
The most basic safety steps is to never swim alone, whether you are in a natural waterway or a swimming pool. If one of you encounters trouble the other can help if it is safe to do so, or get additional help.
Other considerations when venturing to swimming holes include:
- Be aware of your surroundings – including the current and location of rocks
- Beware of slippery rocks – many accidents at swimming holes are caused by falls from slippery rocks
- Know the conditions – has it rained recently and has it influenced the current?
- Swim sober – drugs and alcohol can dull your senses, impair your judgement, and slow response time.
- Be realistic about your abilities – understand your strength, abilities, and shortcomings as a swimmer.
You can find a complete set of safety tips at: http://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/ENV_RW_swim_hole_safety_tips.pdf