ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s almost time to say goodbye to summer. If you’ll be spending the weekend on or around the water this Labor Day, the Albuquerque District, USACE urges you to remember these safety tips.
Always swim with a buddy. Boats and alcohol don’t mix.
Please remember that an inflatable water toy is NOT the same as a life jacket.
Please don’t jump from cliffs or ledges into the lake. Water levels behind dams can vary greatly due to water releases.
Before heading out to the lake, be sure you have a life jacket on hand for everyone in your boat. Check that the life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved, are the right size, the right fit, and are appropriate for the activity you have planned. Then please make sure everyone wears it. On average, 9 out of 10 people who drowned at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake or river project didn’t wear a life jacket. Life jackets save lives by keeping you afloat and providing time for rescue. Remember, it won’t work if you don’t wear it!
If you plan to swim at a lake, adults, plan to take turns being a “water watcher” and keep an eye on children when they are swimming. A child can drown in 20 seconds so stay within arm’s reach while supervising them.
Know your swimming ability. Alcohol adversely impairs your ability to swim. Each year, swimmers get into trouble swimming after a toy, a boat or some other object that drifts away. No object is worth drowning for! Let it go or put on a properly fitted life jacket and then retrieve the item. If your swim buddy gets into trouble, find a flotation device and call for help!
Summer is ending, but you don’t have to let the fun end this Labor Day weekend by having an accident. Please wear a life jacket to help ensure you return home alive and encourage your best buddy to wear one too.
If you don’t have a life jacket, please check with the ranger staff at the lake project as most have a life jacket loaner program.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor water-based recreation, managing more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states and hosting more than 370 million visits per year. With 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas they provide a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages.
The Albuquerque District operates the following lakes in New Mexico and Colorado, although some recreation areas may be run by NM State Parks or Colorado State Parks.
Abiquiu Lake – phone: 505-342-3273 http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AbiquiuLake.aspx
Cochiti Lake – phone: 505-465-0307
Conchas Lake – phone: 575-868-2221
Santa Rosa Lake – phone: 575-472-3115
John Martin Reservoir – phone: 719-336-3476
Trinidad Lake – phone: 719-846-7990
For more information on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation sites and activities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us. Or http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation.aspx
And visit www.bobber.info for cartoons and other water safety fun geared for younger children.