First responders remind the public about water safety on the holiday

- It's the Fourth of July, a busy time of year for tube rental companies.

“We typically will set a sales record on the Fourth of July,” said Mark Jalutka, with the San Marcos Lions Club Tube Rental.

But with water, comes responsibility, and companies make sure both children and parents are keeping things safe.

“I ask what age their children are, how well they swim, and could they swim all the way across the river and back. If the answer's no, I suggest they have a life jacket,” said Jalutka.

Captain Jason Hedrick is with the San Marcos Area Recovery Team.

“Generally from Memorial Day to Labor Day, we would call that our busy season. That's whenever we gear up to do the most,” said Hedrick.

When it comes to parents bringing their kids to the lake, he recommends keeping a close watch.

“I guess tubing with infants is becoming a new thing, but maybe not the wisest thing. Their neck muscles aren't really developed, so it's harder for them to hold their heads up and to be able to stay out of the water,” said Hedrick.

It was at Blue Hole Park where a boy almost drowned after a crate was removed from the dam, but drownings can happen for other reasons too.
The non-profit, Colin's Hope said drownings are very preventable.

“We encourage a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket because that can help them be really comfortable in the water,” said Jessica Brown, program director for Colin’s Hope.

Adult drownings are issues in the Austin area too. Sunday a 22-year-old man drowned at Reimers Ranch Park. Last month, another man drowned in McKinney Falls.

With adults, some officials said it's a certain group who they tend to recover from these tragedies.

“18-35 year old males can be more risk takers, maybe more apt to use alcohol and overestimate their abilities,” said Hedrick.

Independence Day is about pride and fun, but it's important to remember things like life vests, keeping a close watch, never overestimating your swimming abilities and be responsible with alcohol.

 

 

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