Two drownings highlight importance of water safety


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Our recent bout of hot weather is driving many people to the lakes and while time on the water can be lots of fun, it can also be dangerous.

The Fourth of July got off to a deadly start with two drownings in Jackson County.

The first one happened around 9 o’clock last night. Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call of a man who had drowned at Vandercook Lake County Park.

Soon after that, authorities responded to another report of a drowning victim, but at Wolf Lake in Napoleon Township.

In light of these drownings, we spoke with experts today about vital reminders on how to stay safe when out on a lake.

Experts say the most important thing for people to do is to pay special attention to their surroundings while in the water.

They also want parents to keep a closer eye on their kids, because a scary situation can happen on the water at any moment.

For Ruthann Campos, going to Hawk Island Park in Lansing is a great time to enjoy a day of fun in the sun with her family.

But Campos remembers a scary time when she helped find a child who was drowning in the lake.

“When they told us to first start the chain, I thought maybe we were just going to block in case you know, nobody could get through,” said Campos. “I did not know we were going to have to be the ones physically reaching and finding you know potentially a child underwater, and it’s terrifying.”

Campos says it’s not hard to lose sight of your children, which is why she pays close attention when her kids are out in the water.

“Gets very busy here and it’s easy to lose your children in the blink of an eye,” said Campos.

Dee Careathers is the Pool Manager at the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center. She says the biggest thing people should do before swimming in a lake is learn the surroundings and know how far out you can go.

“You can’t always see that bottom, and so you’re walking out, walking out and all of a sudden you realize you’re too far,” said Careathers.

Ruthann’s husband, Felix Campos, also helped save a child from drowning. He says in addition to watching your kids, it’s important to have a talk with them before they hit the water so they can understand their limits.

“You gotta explain there’s rules,” said Campos. “We all as children like to break the rules a little.”

Campos says even though it was scary to save a child out in the water, he’s glad he was there to prevent a dangerous situation from getting any worse.

“I feel good that I was able to help someone,” said Campos.

Some other tips to stay safe out in the water are to always have a buddy with you and make sure you’re wearing a life jacket if necessary.

But that’s not all, we have much more for you on water safety under Seen on 6.

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