US Army Corps of Engineers
Kansas City District

Corps of Engineers encourages water safety this Labor Day weekend

Published Aug. 29, 2019
Tragically, several people lose their lives while visiting USACE lands and waters every year. The majority of the tragedies are water-related. The public’s help is needed to reduce the number of fatalities at the more than 2,800 USACE-managed recreation areas nationwide. USACE personnel stress the importance of water safety year-round when talking with visitors, but especially during the summer season because that is when most public recreation fatalities occur.

Tragically, several people lose their lives while visiting USACE lands and waters every year. The majority of the tragedies are water-related. The public’s help is needed to reduce the number of fatalities at the more than 2,800 USACE-managed recreation areas nationwide. USACE personnel stress the importance of water safety year-round when talking with visitors, but especially during the summer season because that is when most public recreation fatalities occur.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, manages 18 lakes throughout Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, and encourages you not to be a statistic this Labor Day weekend and to wear a life jacket while in, on, or around water.

“Statistics tell us 89% of all water related fatalities at Corps of Engineers lakes were not wearing life jackets,” says Kyle Ruona, Kansas City District public safety program manager.

The Kansas City District urges visitors to be prepared, understand the importance of water safety, to be alert and to expect the unexpected.

“Whether kayaking, swimming or fishing, we want all our visitors to exercise good judgment when on or around the water,” says Angelia Lentz, Tuttle Creek Lake natural resource specialist. “We encourage everyone to wear a life jacket and to remember that boating and alcohol are a bad combination. We want all our visitors to have a great time, but the most important thing is their safety.”

Statistics at Corps of Engineers lakes show 38% of water-related fatalities are between the ages of 18-35 with the second highest age group 36-53 at 24% and 88% of all water related fatalities at Corps projects are male.

“Swimming in a lake or river is more difficult than a swimming pool,” says Ruona. “Swimming abilities may be impacted due to waves, current and variable depth. Even the best swimmers can misjudge their skills and abilities while swimming in a lake or river. Reverse the risk by challenging yourself and your friends to wear a life jacket.”

“It’s important to help and encourage others, of all ages, to learn swimming and water safety skills,” says Bradly Wright, Harry S. Truman Lake natural resource management specialist. “Don’t wait for an emergency to happen, prevent it, life jackets save lives.”

When around the water always wear a life jacket and boat responsibly. For more water safety information visit or follow pleasewearit.com. On that site, select the following link and take a 3-minute survey on the Corps of Engineers national water safety campaign and be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card. https://pleasewearit.typeform.com/to/mLPEyH.


Contact
Public Affairs Office
816-389-3486
CENWK-PA@usace.army.mil

Release no. 19-058