Swim with a friend

Even the most experienced swimmers never swim alone. When you're in the water alone, exhausted and out of breath, you can't count on anyone hearing your call for help. Most drowning victims often can't yell for help. Movies often show a swimmer in trouble splashing and yelling for help, but it doesn't typically happen that way. Never swim or boat by yourself.

Always ask friends and family members to watch out for each other in and around the water. People can drown quickly, before anyone notices they're missing. A few minutes — even seconds — can make the difference between life and death.

In the time it takes to:

  • Search the cooler for your next drink (10 seconds), a person on the shore or in the water can go underwater.
  • Answer your cell phone (two minutes), a person can lose consciousness.
  • Finish reading the next chapter in your summer novel (four to six minutes), a person can sustain permanent brain damage or die.

Water Safety Tips

  • Never swim alone.
  • Keep an eye on your friends and family members at all times.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Put life jackets on children or adults who are not strong swimmers.
  • Don't overestimate your swimming abilities.