Almost half of Washington drownings happen in rivers and streams

The highest drowning numbers are among teenage and young adult males. An inexperienced swimmer might intend to cool off by wading, but may step off an unseen ledge and quickly be in over their head. Children should be watched at all times when they’re in or near water, and non-swimmers should always be within arm’s reach.

Call for help if you see someone in trouble. Then find something to reach out to them with or throw them a lifeline. If you decide to go in the water to help, bring something with you to help keep you both afloat.

People who drown often do so silently and without notice. The best defense against the risks that can happen around water is a well-fitting life jacket. Taking the proper precautions is the best way to ensure that a fun summer outing doesn’t turn into a tragedy.