For Immediate Release
Friday, June 3, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Press Release*
Newburyport Police and Fire Departments Offer Swimming and Beach Safety Tips
NEWBURYPORT — As temperatures climb and beach and pool season unofficially begins after Memorial Day, Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire and City Marshal Mark Murray would like to remind residents to take safety precautions, wherever you find yourself near water.
While enjoying Plum Island Beach or boating on the Merrimack River, the Police and Fire Departments urge everyone to exercise caution at all times.
The American Canoe Association offers the following safety tips to boaters and kayakers.
- Always wear a life jacket. Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket in a public body of water at all times.
- Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current. Be aware of riptides, rip currents and undertows.
- Always maintain control over your craft of vessel.
- Avoid boating or other water activities while under the influence of drugs of alcohol.
- Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
- Know your emotional and physical limitations.
- Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.
- Newburyport is an active fishing port with commercial and recreational vessels. Boaters should take heed of marine traffic and obey all maritime regulations.
- Be aware of weather conditions and know that lifeguards may not be on duty at beaches.
- Lifeguards are on duty weekends only from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until school ends later this month. When school is out, lifeguards are on duty every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For those with their own pools, Newburyport Police and Fire suggest that the community follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Per Massachusetts law, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.
- Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.
YWCA Greater Newburyport offers swim lessons for all ages. Click here for more information.