MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Memorial Day weekend signals the start of summer for many Minnesotans, but authorities want to make sure residents celebrate safely, especially while on the water.

Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lisa Kiava said residents should plan ahead and make sure to bring lifejackets and other safety equipment.

She said most drownings (and near drownings) in Hennepin County happen in hot tubs and swimming pools. Parents are urged to keep a close eye on kids, as many will likely be playing in or around indoor swimming pools due to the weekend’s rainy forecast.

Here are some tips authorities gave in regard to water safety:

— Watch kids closely: 70 percent of child drownings happen when parents are nearby. Also, one child drowns every five days in portable pools, Kiava said.

— Wear a lifejacket. It may look strange in a swimming pool, but weak swimmers are recommended to take safety precautions.

— Learn to swim. Learn CPR, and have safety equipment around, like a shepherd’s hook – or something struggling swimmers can grab onto in case of an emergency.

— If you are on a boat, designate a sober driver before going out on the water; and make sure your boat is secure when moving it.

— Also, state law requires that children under 10 wear life jackets while the boat is moving.


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