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Labor Day at the Lake

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Summer 2015 is winding down and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to thank all the visitors who recreated on the area lakes and made 2015 a success!  This summer was an excellent season with very few accidents reported at Lakes Ouachita, Greeson, and DeGray which is attributed to everyone doing their part to practice and promote water and boating safety.  For many, Labor Day signifies the final trip to the lake of the year.  It’s very easy to become complacent after safely recreating all summer, but one mistake could cost you or someone you love their life.  The vast majority of drowning could have been prevented if the victims were wearing lifejackets-Lifejacket wear on the water is equally as important as seatbelt wear on the road.
Due to the extreme heat and below average precipitation, the lake levels are low and many places once deep enough to traverse by boat have become very shallow.  Watch for underwater hazards while boating and use a depth finder to detect shallow areas.  Also, as the lake level falls, jumping and diving from boats, cliffs, bridges, etc…becomes even more dangerous.  Never jump or dive into unknown waters.
Before you hit the water, remember to check your boat for the proper safety equipment. For a complete list of required boating safety equipment, please visit the Arkansas Game and Fish webpage at: www.agfc.com.

Remember to tell someone where you will be recreating, carry a cell phone, never boat alone, and wear your lifejacket. Park Rangers will be available at area boat ramps over Labor Day weekend performing courtesy boat safety inspections. Life jacket loaner boards are also available at all Corps of Engineers swim beaches, and visitors are welcome to borrow a lifejacket for the day, and return it at the end of your excursion.
Never operate a boat, or go swimming while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The hot temperatures combined with alcohol or drugs are a deadly combination that can severely impair judgment and dehydrate your body.  Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and try to stay cool while recreating to avoid heat related illnesses.
Parents, please watch your children while around the water.  It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown, and often something that seems harmless like a distracting phone call or text message can take your attention away from your children just long enough for them to disappear from your sight. Lakes and rivers are very attractive hazards to young children, and drowning is a silent killer…most victims are unable to call out for help. Looking for an enjoyable pastime during the winter months?  Enroll in swim lessons! Swim lessons are a fun way to learn an important life-saving skill.   Many people drown each year because the victim was a poor swimmer, or overestimated their swimming ability. If you are not an avid swimmer, take the time to enroll in swimming lessons. Learning to swim is very important for you and your family.
Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean the fun has to end at our area lakes.  Fall is an excellent time of year to get out and enjoy Arkansas’ outdoors! From boating, hunting, fishing, hiking/biking trails, kayaking, camping and geocaching- there is something for everyone to enjoy! For more information on recreation opportunities, please contact Lake Ouachita Project Office @ 501-767-2101, or check us out on the web @ http://J.mp/lakeouachita or find us on facebook @ www.facebook.com/lakeouachita.Labor Day at the Lake
Summer 2015 is winding down and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to thank all the visitors who recreated on the area lakes and made 2015 a success!  This summer was an excellent season with very few accidents reported at Lakes Ouachita, Greeson, and DeGray which is attributed to everyone doing their part to practice and promote water and boating safety.  For many, Labor Day signifies the final trip to the lake of the year.  It’s very easy to become complacent after safely recreating all summer, but one mistake could cost you or someone you love their life.  The vast majority of drowning could have been prevented if the victims were wearing lifejackets-Lifejacket wear on the water is equally as important as seatbelt wear on the road.
Due to the extreme heat and below average precipitation, the lake levels are low and many places once deep enough to traverse by boat have become very shallow.  Watch for underwater hazards while boating and use a depth finder to detect shallow areas.  Also, as the lake level falls, jumping and diving from boats, cliffs, bridges, etc…becomes even more dangerous.  Never jump or dive into unknown waters.
Before you hit the water, remember to check your boat for the proper safety equipment. For a complete list of required boating safety equipment, please visit the Arkansas Game and Fish webpage at: www.agfc.com.

Remember to tell someone where you will be recreating, carry a cell phone, never boat alone, and wear your lifejacket. Park Rangers will be available at area boat ramps over Labor Day weekend performing courtesy boat safety inspections. Life jacket loaner boards are also available at all Corps of Engineers swim beaches, and visitors are welcome to borrow a lifejacket for the day, and return it at the end of your excursion.
Never operate a boat, or go swimming while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The hot temperatures combined with alcohol or drugs are a deadly combination that can severely impair judgment and dehydrate your body.  Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and try to stay cool while recreating to avoid heat related illnesses.
Parents, please watch your children while around the water.  It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown, and often something that seems harmless like a distracting phone call or text message can take your attention away from your children just long enough for them to disappear from your sight. Lakes and rivers are very attractive hazards to young children, and drowning is a silent killer…most victims are unable to call out for help. Looking for an enjoyable pastime during the winter months?  Enroll in swim lessons! Swim lessons are a fun way to learn an important life-saving skill.   Many people drown each year because the victim was a poor swimmer, or overestimated their swimming ability. If you are not an avid swimmer, take the time to enroll in swimming lessons. Learning to swim is very important for you and your family.
Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean the fun has to end at our area lakes.  Fall is an excellent time of year to get out and enjoy Arkansas’ outdoors! From boating, hunting, fishing, hiking/biking trails, kayaking, camping and geocaching- there is something for everyone to enjoy! For more information on recreation opportunities, please contact Lake Ouachita Project Office @ 501-767-2101, or check us out on the web @ http://J.mp/lakeouachita or find us on facebook @ www.facebook.com/lakeouachita.

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