Patrol urges water safety after 10 Missouri deaths

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | 7:46 a.m. CDT; updated 1:01 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 25, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri law enforcement officers are urging people to use caution in the water amid 10 reported drowning deaths so far in June.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol oversees the state's water patrol division. It said that swimming in rivers and lakes can be dangerous even for adults and children who have good swimming skills.

The patrol said currents, drop-offs and floating debris all can pose dangers in water. It said everyone should use a life jacket and should get into the water only when others are present.

Last summer, Columbia lifeguards and other water safety officials provided tips on what to watch for to prevent drownings.

Victims aren't always splashing, and they don't just sink like what you might have seen in a movie, said Chris Fernandez, the head manager at the Oakland pool at the time. Instead, the swimmer has a look of fear. He's gasping for air, not yelling for help.

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