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Swimming safety

As temperatures heat up, more and more people want to cool down at the pool, but with that come the danger of drowning.
As temperatures heat up, more and more people want to cool down at the pool, but with that come the danger of drowning.

Saturday, 19-year-old Alvis Jordan lost his life at Indian Lake. The cause of his death is unknown, but rescue crews suspect Jordan may have been suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration that could have contributed to his drowning.

At public and private pools lifeguards can keep a close watch on swimmers, but that isn't always enough. Cpt. Dwayne Boswell with the Cabot Fire Department says people don't realize when they're dehydrated they're going to cramp up. "If you're dehydrated, you don't know your limitations. That's when you find yourself in a bad situation, and if you’re alone, then it's hard to get out of the water if you start to cramp."

College swimmer and swim instructor Meghan Petersen says people forget when they're in the water they still need to drink water. "The mistake people make is they don't realize they sweat in the water. They need to drink water before they get in the pool."

That's why Cpt. Boswell says people should never go swimming alone. "The number one advice I can give is swim with a buddy. Always have a partner with you."

Petersen says she's experienced that sharp pain in the back of her leg. "That's the worst. It's excruciating. You feel like you can't move. It's a serious condition you have to watch out for."

Swimming can be an extremely strenuous activity, and Petersen says people often over estimate their abilities. "Going from the hot sun to the cold pool is a drastic change and you want to make sure you acclimate yourself to the water. Hydrate so you don't cramp up so much you're not able to swim."

Petersen recommends everyone take swimming lessons and learn CPR so you can save you own life or someone else's. "The thing I stress most about saving yourself is anyone can float if you turn over on your back."

19-year-old Alvis Jordan's body is at the State Crime Lab. Results of an autopsy could take several weeks.

The Urban Swimming Program reports drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 14. Every year an estimated 3,600 injuries to children are blamed on near drowning incidents. The CDC reports swimming abilities can decrease with age.
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