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    Tulsa District promotes water safety while gearing up for holiday weekend.



    Story by Tiffany Natividad 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District

    The Tulsa District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages water safety year-round, but it is especially important in the summer months when we see more visitors coming out to enjoy the cool water on the hot summer days.
    Every year people come out to enjoy Corps-managed lands and waters. When participating in any water-related activity, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, identify the hazards and know your limits. We urge the public to follow safety guidelines and to remember it is important to always wear a life jacket in, on or near the water.
    To prepare for our busier months, Park Rangers across the district organize and participate in various water safety events and coordinate with local partners to promote the USACE water safety message and encourage visitors to have fun but always be safe around the water. These community presentations happen just about anywhere from schools and local stores to public events held in cities across the district. Several lake projects also offer loaner stations stocked with life jackets of all sizes, where visitors can borrow a life jacket for the day. These loaner stations are located at gate shacks as well as designated beach or swim areas at the projects.
    “Spreading the water safety message to me means people are out knowing that I care about their safety and the safety of those around when they come to our lake to have a great time.” Said Keystone Lake natural resources specialist Ashley Novar. “As a Corps park ranger, it is a duty and a responsibility to educate the public about water safety and it is important to spread that awareness so people who visit the lake can have fun in a smart and safer way.”
    Keystone and Skiatook Lake rangers were present at Mayfest in downtown Tulsa and teamed up with the Safe Kids Foundation to raise awareness about the importance of life jackets and to also share water safety information. They also participated in a Memorial Day Water Safety event at Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Tulsa Hills location to increase awareness about life jackets and to assist in fitting children with life jackets. It is important that a person wears the right type and fit of life jacket for the activity they will be engaged in on the water. USACE partnered with the Safe Kids Foundation and Grand River Dam Authority to hold free boat inspections outside.
    Lake Texoma held a water safety education event at Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Durant, Okla. Rangers demonstrated how to properly wear a life jacket and spoke on the importance of water safety and being aware of your surroundings. The Lake Texoma patrol boat was onsite for students to see what boat to look out for in the water in case they needed aid. On top of all the water safety information, all fourth graders in attendance were given a pass for Every Kid in the Outdoors Program. This pass gives them and their families free access to Federal Lands and Waters for recreation.
    Park Ranger staff at Fort Gibson Lake, participated in the annual safety Camp Bandage event held on Grand Lake in Afton, Okla. Rangers handed out water safety materials and provided information on how to stay safe on the water while visiting our lakes. “Kids really enjoy meeting park rangers and learning about water safety. Our interactions with them let them know that we are always around to help when needed and they really like showing off their life jackets” said Joshua Glazebrook, natural resources specialist.
    Fort Gibson Rangers also took part in a community outreach event supporting the Broken Arrow Police Department and introduced Bobber the Water Safety Dog at the family fun in the sun day organized by the Mayes County Health Department.
    Park Rangers at the Tenkiller Lake office presented a water safety program to Panama school kids. In this program, rangers demonstrated the reach, throw, don’t go method on assisting someone that has already fallen in the water, as well as showing the students the different types of life jackets available to them and how to properly wear them. “The importance of these water safety presentations really becomes evident to me when I can see just how readily kids pick up on important water safety principles. That shows me that the effort put into these presentations really has the potential of having a lasting impact that can save a life even years down the road.” says Bridger Montgomery, natural resources specialist.
    The Oolagah Lake staff coordinated with the nonprofit organization True Legends Foundation to hold a children’s fishing event at the Oolagah Lake Office Pond. Rangers passed out loaner fishing poles to the children while promoting the importance of always wearing a life jacket when near, on, or in water.
    The majority of the fatalities on Corps-managed waters are associated with the victim not wearing a life jacket. Drowning can happen in an instant so whether a person is a strong swimmer or not, wearing a lifejacket drastically increases the chances of survival. Public safety is and always will be a number one priority for the Corps. Remember our motto “Life Jackets worn; nobody mourns”.



    Date Taken: 06.27.2022
    Date Posted: 06.27.2022 22:44
    Story ID: 423896
    Location: TULSA, OK, US 

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