With knowledge comes wisdom and with a few words from professionals, local students have learned a little more about how they can stay safe while swimming this summer.
Local rangers stepped inside the classroom to provide safety tips to several students for playing in and around the water.
During a typical school day, students from Plato Elementary School took a break from their normal routine to listen and interact with two presenters from the United States Army Corps of Engineers — Tulsa District at Waurika Lake office Destany Rochell and Alan Harper.
Both Rochell and Harper said they love the interaction and enthusiasm of the students.
Harper said they set up on Tuesday to talk to the students about water safety and the importance of wearing a life jacket.
During the presentation, they helped students know how a life jacket should fit, as well as educated the students on why it’s important to learn how to swim and to always swim with a buddy.
Students also learned the proper way to save someone in the water if they are in danger.
Rochell said she wants to instill in the kids the importance of wearing a life jacket, even when they are older.
When teaching the kids, Rochell said “it’s more likely that a parent is going to wear a life jacket if their kid says ‘hey mom, hey dad, I learned that you need to wear one of these too, it helps keep you safe.’”
According to Rochell, as corp employees, even they wear life jackets and no matter what your age is, a life jacket is always an essential part of water safety and important to saving lives.
During the presentation, students watched a few cartoon videos about the importance of playing safely in the water.
Rochell told the students to pay close attention to the following key phrases.
“Reach, throw, row, don’t go,” Rochell said.
Rochell went over the different types of life jackets they can utilized in the water, including a type 1 life jacket for off-shore, type 2 for near shore swimming and beach areas, type 3 for physical water activity, such as tubing and fishing, type 4 would be their “throwables” that can be thrown out to someone and type 5 are their inflatables.
Rochell went over with the students how to check if they have the right life jackets.
“We’re going to check if it’s coast guard approved,” Rochell said. “We’re going to check for damage.”
For an approved life jacket, the jacket will fit properly with no damage.
Next, Harper talked about how to help save someone by throwing a life jacket and pulling them in.
He went over an illustration with the students which detailed how to tie a rope around a life jacket and how to throw it out to someone and pull them in safety.
Harper shared with the students how they can use a paddle to reach out to someone, throw a lifesaver out to someone and how to row the boat over to someone without going out to a victim and getting pulled under as well.
“I don’t want to go out there,” Harper said. “I want to keep myself safe and get her to safety.”
Presenters played a game about how they can throw a life jacket out to someone in trouble in the water, while staying safe themselves.
For more information about water safety, visit https://www.swt.usace.army.mil/Missions/Water-Safety/.