Editorial - Be aware of dangers while swimming
Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 13:08
Saturday afternoon a West Virginia University student lost his life because of the swift current of the Tygart River at a location known as "party rock."
This is the second drowning in the area since July 21 when Rodney Childers, 34, drowned some 100 yards from the latest incident.
While West Virginia hosts many locations for swimming and beautiful scenery, swimmers must realize the dangers of water.
It doesn’t matter how experienced you may be; anyone can fall victim to a strong undercurrent.
Even if the current seems calm and the water shallow, dangers could still lurk.
This is not to say you shouldn’t enjoy the wonders of West Virginia, but you should do so safely.
First of all, consider the dangers before entering the water. If the current is high, don’t take the chance. Water can be one of the strongest and fiercest forces in nature; don’t think you can swim through anything. Furthermore, shallow water can deepen suddenly, so don’t venture to areas far from the riverbank
Second, while enjoying alcoholic beverages can be fun, you shouldn’t drink and swim. Drinking and swimming in dangerous currents is a recipe for disaster and should be avoided at all costs.
Also, don’t overexert yourself while swimming. Cramping or simply exhaustion may lead to drowning. It’s easy to underestimate the powers of water, but doing so can be a grave mistake.
Make sure you are well rested and haven’t eaten 20 minutes prior to swimming. This sounds like advice for a child, but it should be taken into account for swimmers of all ages.
Everyone is equally fragile; don’t think it can’t happen to you.
Summer activities are fun, and avoiding swimming dangers lets them stay that way.
Stay safe out there.