Fire Chief Offers Water Safety Advice

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio- A sudden surge in area drownings has many outdoor recreationalists worried. 

The Zanesville Fire Department is trained in water rescue and says the sudden surge is attributed to more people being out. Fire Chief Jeff Bell has some suggestions to stay safe. 

“One, no matter how good a swimmer you are, never swim alone. A lot of times we get into trouble because as adults or teens or that we overestimate our abilities as swimmers. We underestimate the water ways, stuff like that, whether it be the depth, the temperature, unseen hazards, whether it might be branches or entanglements we might run into.”

Bell also warned against drinking alcohol while swimming and swimming without safety equipment. Bell had this advice on how to attempt to save someone who is drowning. 

“We always talk about reach, throw, row and go. The reach is if you can reach them with a branch, if you can reach them with a paddle or something from the shore do that first. Secondly would be throw, if you have a rope bag or a life preserver you can throw to them that would be the second thing. Row would be taking a boat and actually taking the boat out there. The last thing is go, which would be actually swimming out to the person.”

If you do go swimming in a river, lake or pond do take a companion with you.