Staying safe on and in the water

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - As the weather heats up many families will be looking to stay cool by heading out on the water - which increases the chance of a water emergency.

The East Lansing Fire Department held its annual Water Rescue Training at Lake Lansing on Thursday.

Even though water can be relaxing, and a lot of fun, it can also be extremely dangerous.

Fire Captain Cam Howie says the most important tip is to have life jackets available - but not just for the kids. He says it's important for everybody to have access to a life jacket, especially on a boat.

"We found that a drowning victim actually will submerge within 15 to 30 seconds when they go to that vertical position," said Captain Howie.

He also indicated that water emergencies can happen in as little as 3 feet of water, "so if we get a water rescue emergency our boat's all set up to go. We're simply hooking up to one of the rescue vehicles and it's going with our primary response, so two to three minutes, we're on scene."

If you're going out onto the water take extra precautions, and if you're getting on a boat bring a life jacket. And have extra ones to throw overboard in case someone goes over that can't swim.

In addition to the East Lansing Fire Department's water safety tips, the Red Cross has recommendations as well. They say it's important to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets - and to swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.