GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - If you find yourself in a situation where someone around you is drowning, safety officials said the first thing to do is map out a rescue plan.
“We don’t recommend that people try to swim out into waters they are not familiar with and try to rescue a struggling person,” said Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan.
Sullivan said that people have tried recusing other drowning people before and have ended up dying themselves as a result. Knowing the water you’re getting into could mean the difference in life and death and know there is always a risk.
"Never swim alone if you can help it. Have people with you. Have some type of flotation device even if you know how to swim,” Sullivan said.
If you’re at a pool with a lifeguard on duty, you still shouldn’t let your guard down.
Sullivan said knowing CPR is a must, and if the unfortunate does happen don’t wait for someone else to jump into action.
"Call early and tell 911 that we have a situation. Don’t assume that someone else has made that 911 call,” Sullivan said.
Regardless of whether you are a strong swimmer or you think you’re a strong swimmer, you should always be cautious and alert.
If you or your children haven’t taken swimming lessons, now is a good time to start. The American Academy of Pediatrics claims drowning as the single leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 1 to 4.
“It’s never too early to start your children to learn about pool safety and swimming,” Sullivan said.
Here are places that are offering swimming lesson this summer.