MACOMB COUNTY (WWJ) — In the wake of more and more stories about dangers on the water — accidents on the lake and a three-year-old drowning in a swimming pool in Redford last week — it is important that you take proper precautions while enjoying summertime fun.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said that it’s easy for people to get in trouble out on the water. After a man went missing after jumping off a paddleboat in Stony Creek Metropark on Sunday, Wickersham said that it’s important that people have a basic understanding of water safety.

“One thing is learning to swim and the second is really knowing the environment and knowing where you’re at and how deep the water is,” Wickersham said.

A new study recently released said that African American children, between the ages of 5 and 19, are three times more likely to die from such accidents in Michigan.

“The YMCA and different schools are always offering swimming classes for age appropriate individuals,” Wickersham said. “It’s a parent’s responsibility to get their child in at an early age and get them familiar with the water.”

Wickersham stressed that people should be aware of their surroundings — how deep the water is, especially if they’re out on a lake.

“Lake St. Clair kind of takes us into a different environment —  with the waves and the currents,” Wickersham said. “Some people, if they jump in and they get to a certain point and if the boat’s not anchored properly — or they get away from the boat — they have a harder time swimming back and maybe get tired. If they had been drinking then obviously the alcohol’s going to affect them.”

If someone’s afraid of the water, Wickersham urged that they should wear a life jacket around a pool or lake.


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