Take the Plunge

     Just be sure to do it safely.  Some of you may not remember the Nestea Plunge where an individual stands on the deck of the pool, their back facing the water, then falls straight back, landing flat on their back on the water.  The Nestea Plunge.

     The temperatures have been heating up into the 80’s and people finally feel like swimming.  The water has warmed up significantly and with the long 4th of July weekend right around the corner you can bet people are going to be spending time around the water.  It’s always fun to hang out at a beach, put your feet in a creek, go paddling, take a boat ride, go fishing or just relax by the water.  The fun can turn to tragedy and recently did on the North Shore.

     Two women drowned in the Temperance River last week.  Their church group from Maple Grove were cooling off after a hike and waded in a bit too far.  Before they knew what happened the current took them away, swept them down the rapids and over the falls, held them underneath the falls for too many minutes and then released their lifeless bodies downstream.  One moment everyone was having fun and the next everyone was caught in the middle of a tragedy.

     Please be careful wherever you go this summer and especially when it’s on or near water.  Many accidents could be prevented as well as a lot of pain and suffering.  The DNR has these suggestions for how to take the plunge safely over this 4th of July weekend.

The DNR offers these tips to help make it a safer summer in Minnesota:

  • wear a life jacket when boating, because most boat-related drownings happen to people who can swim but aren’t wearing life vests
  • make sure boat running lights are working before setting out to watch fireworks or boat after sunset
  • avoid becoming distracted with a book or cell phone and watch children the entire time they are near water, because downing is often silent, quick, and can happen when help is nearby
  • take swimming lessons; many local parks and recreation departments and the American Red Cross offer courses for children and adults
  • don’t swim from a boat anchored in deep water without a life vest, even if a good swimmer
  • swim with a buddy because even adults can get into trouble in the water
  • swim in a designated swimming area with lifeguards whenever possible
  • don’t rely on plastic arm “water wings,” inner tubes or water toys to save a child’s life because they may deflate or slip off
  • consider a life vest for children, including recently-approved children’s bathing suits with built-in life vests
  • learn child and adult CPR.