There’s a national campaign to remind people they should always wear life jackets while on a boat or in the lake.
Before their toes hit the sand, families visiting Joe Pool Lake come across big, colorful signs printed in both English and Spanish urging them to wear a life jacket.
Just off the swim beach around 11 a.m. Sunday, about a dozen people, mostly children, splash around the water with not a life jacket to be seen. Parents keep close watch on their kids, but is that enough?
"Well I am concerned, but I am keeping an eye on them,” said Valerie Vargas, a mother of two. “As far as them being around older people and us looking at them, they'll be OK."
Vargas said she gets nervous the further out into the water her 7-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son go.
"One minute they can be up close to the shore and the other minute they can be way out there, so I'm making sure that doesn't happen," said Vargas. “They know how to float, but they don’t know how to swim yet.”
About 100 yards from the water anyone can go to that shack and borrow a life jacket for free. A sign between the beach and the shack lets people know this. But Vargas said she and her group of about 30 from an Oak Cliff church didn't notice it.
When we told Vargas about it she didn't hesitate. She brought two small life jackets down to the swim beach and put them on her kids. Other parents saw this and a while later even more kids were wearing life jackets. We wondered if Vargas had any more piece of mind now.
"I do, I do, I do,” said Vargas. “Obviously it does help having the life jacket, so yes, I do feel much better knowing that they have that on."
There are plenty more in the shack by the swim beach. Folks just have to remember to stop by, grab one and wear it.
For more on the effort to urge folks to wear life jackets, check out the North American Safe Boarding Campaign website.